Thursday, May 29, 2014

Album Review: Richard Haswell- From The Fleet To The Medlock

Richard Haswell
From The Fleet To The Medlock - A Collection (1997-2014)
*** out of *****
The Scottish singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Richard Haswell has put together a collection of his work spanning 17 years on From The Fleet To The Medlock. It is to act as a beginners guide to the artists collection as he currently has a daunting 22 records out there. Using the internet as a guide Haswell picked from a variety of songs based on downloads, streams, critical acclaim and personal preferences.

All that stated it may not be best suited as an intro to the artist as there is a lot to digest here in form of actual songs (17), running time (77+ minutes), and musical styles. Haswell isn't hasn't been afraid to experiement that is obvious as things as varied as textured spacey instrumentals ("Tird Lanark") cozy up next to disco fueled bouncers ("The Undreamed Of") nudging past acoustic moments ("Magnetic North").

To point out some highlights, "Circus Clown" has a nice production for a basic singer songwriter tune, elevating it above some others here. The pulsing/acoustic pairing on "Arise" feels like a lost Pink Floyd number that is exciting as is the Eels sounding "Perfect Parallel" which uses expert wordplay. Things can get over-dramatic on tracks like "Brick By Brick" and "Solid Ground", both would probably improve with a less-is-more production approach.

"Cause And Effect" is the highpoint of the collection with it's winning vocals, uplifting musicality and buzzsaw sounding solo to close things, this song shows Haswell's talent and From The Fleet To The Medlock gives you access to explore even more of his world. 
You can support the artist here, grab/stream the album directly from bandcamp here, and peep some video below:

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