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Review: 'John Forrester'

-  Label: 'Irregular records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '23.2.18.'-  Catalogue No: 'IRR109'

Our Rating:
Sadly this album is anything but restless in any sense I was expecting instead being far more restful than anything from the very slow quiet opening of Richmond Hill that doesn't remind me of drinking in the Lass O Richmond Hill or climbing the hill to get to Richmond Park once more as if you went at this pace it would take a week to reach the top.

New Season is slightly faster but not much and he may sing about leaving again but it sounds more like he's sinking in to the sofa ready to fall asleep while sounding a lot like Andy White in his slower more mordant moments.

Somewhere I can Be is a gentle lilt of a folksy blues song about wanting someone to pray for you and singing about the dearly departed who've just left it's downbeat and heartfelt. Dream Of Home has some lovely flute to help us drift off and dream of the days of yore back where we first met if it was in someone's front room listening to Incredible string band albums and wishing they were more straight forward like this.

Escaping A Storm is like the calmest most clear day you could imagine musically nothing storm like at all a gentle strum and more very Andy White like singing it also reminds me a bit of Neil McSweeney It's ok but hardly memorable.

Restless Bones seems to slow things down even further like he can get out of a darkened room or see an upside to doing anything this is just so restful I could easily fall asleep to this song. Trouble is too gentle to be the fight song it sort of wouldn't mind being it almost has a bit of Brechtian feel to the musical arrangement but needs to be more abrasive than it is.

I could happily listen to the flute part of This Idea Flies over and over or hear it used as a sample in a flute funk tune but the rest of the song is just downbeat and sad and sucking my will to sit here listening to this album, it's making me restless to do something else.

The violins on Butterfly Catcher are soothing me into my slumbers as is the rest of this slow sad song yes please set John free go on and do it soon or they'll make that gorgeous cello sound all night long.

The Black Ship is almost a sea shanty but not quite it needs more life than it has the lyrics are pretty good but it's far too meek it should have the oomph of any of the good Pirate metal bands who do this stuff far better, but this is not meant to be a Pirate tune but more of a Waterboys style folk rocker.

The album closes with yes another slow restful song Stone In My Stomach which is one way of describing what his album feels like to listen to, but it ain't badly played or anything just rather down and a bit slow and poorly named as this album has no restless music on it at all.

If you want to hear this sleepy album find out more at www.forrester.uk.com
  author: simonovitch

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