Album of the Month
The prospect of an award from FolkWords is unlikely to ensure artists undying fame. It does however, recognise work that we consider outstanding and wave a flag for albums that we feel you should invest some of your hard earned beer tokens to acquire. We reflect on all the albums our reviewers cover each month and select an album to recognise as FolkWords 'Album of the Month’.
Previous album choices: 'Album of the Month Archive'
April 2018: ‘Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land' - Ray Cooper
Legendary is a word oft-cheapened by inappropriate overuse, its status conferred without true reason. Although, when used to describe artists whose works deserve the accolade, those individuals demure and modestly reject its usage. It is my contention the music contained in ‘Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land’ from Ray Cooper deserves the tribute ... legendary now and in the future.
Cooper departed from Oysterband and presented his first solo album ‘Tales of Love, War and Death by Hanging’, which held a strong historical theme, then came the more personal ‘Palace of Tears’ and now releasing in May comes ‘Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land’ ... a powerful collection of mood-rich songs that in varying ways reflect on the dreams of the album’s title.
The combination of Cooper’s deeply sonorous voice resonates the messages, coupled to hook-laden, instantly memorable tunes, to make this an album of outstanding quality and instant significance. The tales take the listener on unexpected journeys ... through a young man’s world, into the life of a rebel soldier in WW1, life and death in Jerusalem, the failing faith of a lonely astronomer and a forlorn migrant dreaming of a promised land.
From the joyous ‘Drunk On Summer’ and the fierce independence of ‘The Unknown Soldier Has A Name’ through the intense love in ‘Little Flame’ and sorrow of ‘Love & Vengeance’ to the realisation and acceptance within ‘Ocean Of Storms’ and the raw humanity of ‘The Promised Land’ each narrative possesses a resounding power.
‘Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land’ is an album awash with atmosphere. It will become legendary ... prepare to be moved.