Reviews

John MorelandJohn Moreland
Album: In The Throes
Label: At The Helm
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.johnmoreland.net

If you like your music slowed down a notch or two, with a country/folk influenced sound, sung by a guy with an emotive gritty voice not unlike Marc Cohn, with brilliant and thoughtful lyrics then this album is most definitely worth a listen.

"In The Throes" was released in the US in 2013 and was voted as the "album of the year" by one music magazine. Up to now it has only been available in the UK as an import. John however toured here recently and this album was released to coincide with that.

John's music writing has been described as "not so much songwriting as alchemy with words." That seems to say it all about this artist. John is not only a singer songwriter, he is also a talented musician playing the guitar, bass, harmonica, organ, piano and drums, presumably not all at the same time.

John is just thirty and has been writing music since he was ten. However listening to his voice and his lyrics, you would imagine that he has already led a full and, at times, possibly a sad life. He can certainly take emotion to a whole new level!

This is an album that I would describe as eminently listenable. Do make sure you listen to the lyrics though which are the words of a master story teller told with real feeling and passion. One track in particular "Nobody Give a Damn About Songs Anymore" sounds like a cry for silence in a dark and smokey club. It may not be but it is how I have felt on numerous occasions when the audience talks over an artist. Come on, let's have some respect!

I do like music that allows the voice to be heard properly and which is not swamped by an over powerful accompaniment. Much of John's backing is stripped bare and laid back guitar work which complements his voice perfectly allowing the sadness and emotion of his voice to be fully appreciated.

This is an artist that has emotion by the bucketful and a story to tell to all that want to listen. I also get the impression that he does not take himself too seriously if the picture on his website is anything to go by.

Rory Stanbridge