Saturday, 8 August 2009

Album Review: Reverend & The Makers - A French Kiss In The Chaos

Let me take you back to 1991 and a film I have seen many times, The Silence of the Lambs, a scene near the start educates us all:

Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?

Clarice Starling: He kills women...

Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by killing?

Clarice Starling: Anger, um, social acceptance, and, huh, sexual frustrations, sir...

Hannibal Lecter: No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.

Clarice Starling: No. We just...

Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes seek out the things you want?

What's this got to do with Reverend & The Makers? Well in 2007 on the excellent State of Things Jon McClure talks about the things he sees and at times coverts. Clarice is probably closer on her deductions, he talks about social acceptance and sexual frustrations. Sometimes these are about Jon and sometimes these are about the city (Sheffield) around him. Like the killer in The Silence of the Lambs, Jon then moved on to the wider world away from his front doorstep.

No longer does he talk about who's shagging who, who's gambling, teenage pregnancies and faded dreams. Now he talks about politics, anti depressants and consumer society. He can't help it, he no longer lives in the world where it's easy to bump in to an ex. How does this affect the album? Well the lyrics aren't as instant to me or you as we don't get to see behind the scenes in Venezuela but perhaps we can associate with people on antidepressants - there are two tracks dealing with that.

Musically I think A French Kiss is a real improvement on the last album, there is more variety and I guess that matches the maturity of the lyrics. What you really want to know though is how good is it as an album, should you own it, would you play it over and over. Absolutely. It's a great album and already one of my favourites of this year. Highlights such as Hard Time For Dreamers, the next single No Soap (In A Dirty War) and the first single Silence Is Talking are nicely split up over the album but there are quality songs throughout.

This track is free to download from the bands web site where you can also see the video for Silence Is Talking.

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