‘Love in Wartime’ from Birds of Chicago - faultless engagement(April 04, 2018)
Start a conversation about Americana and frequently you’ll find yourself drawn into a pointless need for classification, pointless because ‘why and who cares?’ Forget proscription and go with the music with a spread of division that ranges from the raunchier side of rock influence to the soul-baring singularity of mournful ballads. That said, the point of this review is to look at ‘Love in Wartime’ from Birds of Chicago (JT Nero and Allison Russell) – with a mix of influences and genre-spans - there’s ripping drive, thoughtful reflection, world-weary understanding, personal expression and intricate revelation. And throughout, faultless engagement.
This is an album of experience, the sweep is wide, the involvement embracing. The musicianship outstanding, the vocals rich and engaging. Listen to songs like ‘Never Go Back’, the powerful ‘Love in Wartime’, ‘Travelers’ and ‘Lodestar’ and all will be revealed. You’ll also find that you’re pulled into this album in a way that not many achieve – from the songwriting of JT Nero to the luscious vocals of Allison Russell.
‘Love in Wartime’ releases in the UK in May 2018 ahead of a UK and Ireland tour – buy it and go see them.
Review: Tom Franks