Black – When It’s Over/Womanly Panther

BLACK_WIO-WP_Sleeve-Art_RingMaster Review_1.1a

Taken from the mouth-watering melodic captivation that is Blind Faith, the recently released album from Black, double A-sided single When It’s Over/Womanly Panther sends ears and imagination into a spin confirming the potency of its parent bed for fans and masterfully welcoming newcomers into the ever compelling craft of one of Britain’s finest songwriters.

Black is of course the musical non de plume of Colin Vearncombe, and the tracks making up the single, swift persuasions co-written with long-time friend and musical sparring partner Calum MacColl, the son of Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl and brother of the ever missed Kirsty. The two songs give persuasive evidence of the diversity of sound and imagination which fuels Blind Faith from start to finish, starting with When It’s Over which gently slips over ears, enticing they and thoughts with a swift wash of melodic elegance. Aligned to the distinctive tones of Vearncombe, it quickly reveals a Walker Brothers like beauty and seduction which only grows as the heart and orchestral majesty of the song blossoms. Through this seductive and rousing flame a sense of calm is kept by the dour but magnetic tones of the bass. Its masterful tempering to the soaring stringed majesty also manages to simultaneously emulate the reflective vocals, emphasising their equally fascinating persuasion and ever open charm.

The track continues to smoulder in thoughts and memory long after its departure but still gets outshone by the magnificent Womanly Panther, surely one of the best songs to hit 2015. Gliding in on a nostalgic air and siren-esque melodies wrapped in sultry temptation, the song tangos through ears, across the imagination, and into the passions with the scenic flirtation of the French Riviera glossed by the smouldering beauty of a screen queen. Strings flirt as suggestive melodies seduce, rhythms shuffle as joyful revelry fuels every trait of the wonderful serenade led by the ever descriptive tones of Vearncombe.

The pair of songs are just a snatch of the goodness flooding through Blind Faith and strong reason for those yet to embrace Black’s latest triumph to go treat themselves.

When It’s Over/Womanly Panther is out now via Nero Schwarz Ltd.

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Black – Blind Faith

1470241_614906188546858_361115243_n

Like for so many others, Wonderful Life is a mainstay of not only all-time favourite albums but also our weekly listening pleasure at The RingMaster Review. Its creator Black, the musical non de plume of Colin Vearncombe, has continued to incite ears and the passions since that triumph’s release in 1987, through over ten studio albums under the Black moniker and the musician/songwriter’s his own name alone, yet still that album steals the show of our personal pleasures. Now though it has a rival in the shape of the magnetic seduction of Blind Faith, Vearncombe’s first release of new songs in six years. It is a melodic smoulder and emotional caress of thirteen diverse and captivating propositions which potently reminds us that their composer is still one of Britain’s most imaginative and persistently compelling songwriters and artists.

Blind Faith was co-written with long-time friend and musical sparring partner Calum MacColl, the son of Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl and brother of the wonderful Kirsty. Recruiting a host of talented musicians to help its recording, and with Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile/Prefab Sprout) producing, Vearncombe brings all his emotively description skills to bear from the opening seconds of first track The Love Show. A sombre yet joyful acoustic melody hits ears first, swiftly courted by a kiss of strings and in turn the ever distinct voice of Vearncombe. In no time the track is a blossoming breeze of melodic enterprise, recalling the early days of Black whilst conjuring a new evocative croon in sound and texture. The melancholy of the song is gorgeous yet its atmosphere is simultaneously the complete opposite of that, warmth and tantalising lightness providing one endearing kiss on the senses.

BF-Front-Cover     The sensational start is continued by the vibrant saunter of Don’t Call Me Honey, a mix of country and folk revelry colluding in a catchy escapade swiftly in control of imagination and appetite. The swinging beats of drummer Liam Bradley are aligned to the slightly darker but no less energetic tones of bass from Simon Edwards, their combined magnetic spine the keenest lure in the dance of the song. The proposition’s riveting call is matched by the distinctly different Good Liar, a slow stroll of vocal reflection embraced by guitar bred melodies courtesy of MacColl and a mesmeric wash of keys cast by Mikey Rowe. Ears almost float in the croon of the song before being taken on a wonderful dramatic ride in Sleep Together. This treat has a melody rich hook which is like a fine wine on the creative menu of the song and just as potent on the senses as the real thing, additionally bewitching them in the eventful mesmerism already fuelling the captivation.

Womanly Panther has the same kind of theatre to it, this time in the shape of a siren-esque sixties flame. The imagination swiftly runs with the song’s suggestiveness as vocal harmonies are hugged by ever expressive strings. Thoughts conjure images of cosmopolitan temptresses on the French Riviera, a vision only encouraged by the tones and words of Vearncombe. It is another pinnacle in the increasingly thrilling Blind Faith and yet another unique proposal in its diversity, as indeed is Who You Are with its gentle embrace. Once more a whisper of nostalgia engages ears as the song’s chorus unveils a melody and vocal lure reminiscent of early Black enticements. Around this though there is a sultry climate which is almost surf rock like in a hazy complexion which has ears and emotions spellbound.

The following Sunflower is a slightly longer to ignite smoulder but from its first breath keys and Vearncombe’s tones cup ears in potent reflection before slipping away and being replaced by the just as emotively tenacious Not The Man. As it broadens its embrace, a more lively energy flows through the track’s sound and presence, and in turn the listener setting them up perfectly for the country rock spiced and new single Ashes Of Angels. Though another slimline song in textures, there is never a lack of thick melodic ingenuity and creative adventure to any Black song within Blind Faith, and equipped with a virulent contagion of vocal and musical hooks, the song sets itself up as just one more irresistible triumph.

The smoky emotion and tone of Stone Soup holds attention firmly next whilst the eloquent orchestral grace and provocative hues of When It’s Over has ears and thoughts bound with its contrast of soaring keys and strings against a grumbling bassline. Both though are over shadowed by the closing pair of Beautiful and Parade, the first, of course, living up to its title with a shimmering reflection of voice and guitar whilst the second unveils a celestial weave of melodies aligned to matching vocal prowess, the vocals of Vearncombe ever the strongest persuasive lure. It is a sensational close to an exceptional release which definitely flirts with the description classic.

Listening to Blind Faith brings back some of the same emotions felt listening to Wonderful Life way back in time and ever since, and that realising tingle of something special having just seduced ears and more. Colin Vearncombe’s first album is still the unrivalled Black album for us but Blind Faith is right there by its side as an essential proposition for all melodic rock/pop fans.

Blind Faith is available now via Nero Schwarz Limited @ http://www.colinvearncombe.com/music/blind-faith/

http://www.colinvearncombe.com   https://www.facebook.com/blackakacolinvearncombe

RingMaster 01/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

Helene Greenwood – Collectable You

HG

Listening to Collectable You, the debut album from British singer/songwriter Helene Greenwood is like staring into a mesmeric pool of sun kissed water, the engaging moment warm and enticing as songs play like reflective ripples upon the surface of an emotive temptation. It is an enchanting encounter which caresses and kisses thoughts and imagination with poetic craft and evocative premises of everyday heart seeded life. Following the impressive EP The Break, the album confirms the promise and expressive grandeur which permeated its predecessor whilst increasing the potent presence of the lady herself.

Hailing from Dover, the Camden, London based Greenwood has taken her studies as a contemporary composer at The Royal Academy into her distinct style of songwriting whilst using inspirations such as Ella Fitzgerald, Björk, Feist and jazz singing itself as a rich spice to what is her individual presence and performance. From studying with internationally acclaimed singers Nia Lynn and Anita Wardell, earning her music degree from Royal Holloway, and songwriting with Gretchen Parlato, Greenwood has built a deeply promising and accomplished reputation through her shows which include regular spots at Proud Galleries in Camden and also the Stanford University Coffee House, and her first release The Break. Now Collectable You looks poised to send her into the attention and emotions of a great many more around the country, the album you suspect such its impressive body the spark to full awareness.

Produced by Calum MacColl, son of folk singers Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl, who also provides guitars and backing vocals to the 1379518_349020325241412_252790883_nalbum, Collectable You sees Greenwood assisted by a fine group of musicians to realise her songs, a line-up on the album including keyboardist James Hallawell of The Waterboys, bassist/cellist Arnulf Lindler (KT Tunstall), and drummer Martyn Barker (Billy Bragg/Beth Gibbons). It is a mix which helps light up the vibrant songwriting which starts with opener Break In Break Out. The song takes little time in smooching with the ears; Greenwood’s smouldering vocals and an excellent melancholic cello embrace instantly an irresistible temptation alongside a classical emotive elegance crafted by the keys. Into its stride there emerges an eruption of a full flight of melodic passion within colour soaked melodic skies whilst a brass coaxing within only elevates a greater rapture in the passions.

It is an excellent introduction soon backed by After the Fire, its piano prompts upon thoughts bringing in the again sultry vocals of Greenwood. Blossoming into a jazz kissed seduction with the throaty emotive sounds produced by Lindler quite delicious, the song merges emotional shadows and dawning lights of hope into an enthralling embrace which again has full attention of body and mind.

So Many Balloons is a similarly gaited song to its predecessor, if less shadowed but as emotionally provocative with its darker reflective perspectives. Gentle rubs of the imagination erupt into hungry but contained melodic flames as a Hammond organ temptation provides a contagious lure within the already compelling rises of intensity and passion within the wonderful track. Impossibly infectious the song makes way for Great Fountain, where again the bass swagger is of the utmost potency to match the voice of Greenwood and richly hued keys. There is a XTC feel to the song, an exotic tease around crescendos of magnificent pop bred beauty which continues the impressive soar of the album.

Passing through the tantalising Timeline and The Shore, a dramatic ballad with rising walls of charm and heated craft, the album brings a cover of the Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom written Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread). Greenwood makes it a stronger smouldering play on emotions without losing the core irresistibility of the a classic song about love. From its place on the earlier EP where it impressed yet at the time sounded pale against the rest of the songs, the track has emerged over time as a slowly dawning rapture for the emotions and secures its place as one of the favourites upon the album with its rhythmic sculpting and keys clad persuasion.

    Collectable You continues to hold imagination and passions tight with the almost wanton Spindrift Road, the second single from the album preying on thoughts with a mischievous melodic dance and carnival like teasing. Magnetically absorbing, like the album lyrically and musically, it is one of the pinnacles of the release especially in the second of its seemingly two part offering, and an intriguing invite into the joy of the album as a single.

The aural and perceptive fascination stays on course with next up In The Sunshine, the song a melodic drift across reflective horizons, and the tender Focussed. Both songs are delightful temptations but do lack the intense enticement of previous songs, though invention and imagination wise they stand tall whilst making formidable lures for a return to their arms. The same can be said of the potently alluring Get On Board and the closing Utopia with its country/folk whisperings, the closer making a drama fuelled conclusion to a richly pleasing and exciting album, even if one where its greatest strength lies in its first two thirds. Helene Greenwood is an artist we are sure to hear a lot more of through words soaked in acclaim, the Washaway Recordings released Collectable You a potent persuasion to that thought.

http://www.helenegreenwood.com/

8/10

RingMaster 21/10/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com