Roddy Woomble returns with his 3rd solo effort ‘Listen To Keep‘ which will be released via Reveal Records on the 4th of March.
The overall composition of the album benefits from a settled line up, as opposed to the revolving door of musicians that made up 2011′s The Impossible Song. The line up is a reflection of his touring crew of Sorren Maclean (Guitar), Seonaid Aitken (Violin, Keys), Gavin Fox (Bass) and the addition of drummer Danny Grant.
Listen to Keep is a confident affair throughout, and comes across completely as a group of musicians comfortable with each other and playing to the best of their abilities.
Idlewild are one of my favourite ever bands, and Roddy’s solo recordings maintain a prominent place in my regular listening, but I’ve sometimes found opening salvos of any new material fairly heavy going. Often this is the best way though as you’re paid back for your investment in the time it takes to gain a level of familiarity with the work. Woomble appears to be the master of this, knowing one way or another you’ll come round to his way of thinking, even if it does take a bit of time. I found this new album one of the more accessible offerings of anything he has done in recent times.
The album has a really nice variation, from the laid back pensive tunes like ‘Making Myths’ and ‘Listen To Keep’ you’ll suddenly have your lethargic chair kicked from under you with outright toe tappers like ‘The Last One of my Kind‘ and ‘Trouble Your Door’. The ever blossoming writing relationship between Woomble and Maclean is undoubtedly a great new partnership in Scottish music and hopefully one that sticks around in some form for year to come.
There is an underlying theme in the album, with Woomble revisiting the idea of luck on multiple occasions. I’m no expert but I’d say that certainly Idlewild suffered from bad luck to a certain extent. For a band of that talent with the wealth of superb material they had to call upon, commercially at least they weren’t as successful as they deserved. Woomble may be dwelling on this, and he’d have good reason to think he didn’t have the luck he deserved.
The recording sounds more like a band than any of Woomble’s previous solo outing, with the closeness of relationships and group of people attain when out on tour, this is hardly any surprise, and the material sounds all the better for it. My only criticism is that at times I found myself wanting the recorded versions of the songs to mirror the warmth of the live performance but in some tracks I was left feeling that it was lacking…a guitar part too quiet or backing vocals almost inaudible, that when played live had made the song shine.
One thing you can’t deny is the quality of Woomble’s voice, now shed of angst it has taken on a wiser, more mature tone that you can’t help but drift away in your own thoughts while listening to it.
Buy the album direct from Reveal using the links below.
CD: http://www.reveal-store.com/product.php?id=311&categoryid=23 shipping NOW!