‘Into The Green’ by Joshua Burnell - Tolkienesque darkness, Andersenian morality and Jordanian mythics(June 22, 2016)
Honestly, it took some getting into this album. The mix of convoluted, fantasy storytelling, lyrically complex, involved songs and juxtaposition between ethereal musical meanderings and pulsating folk rock demands that the listener works hard. Those with the time and inclination to invest will find themselves rewarded with a journey around the world Joshua Burnell creates through his album ‘Into The Green’.
A softer folk rock approach surrounds the first ‘half’ of the album, through a collection of songs with leanings into observations on pastoral folklore and legend. The overall impression is of a story-teller laying his poetic tales across the music rather than creating songs, which is good when it works and these ‘first seven’ certainly do. Interestingly, I kept hearing echoes of surreal sixties fantasy folk. From there, the second ‘half’ is more of a concept piece, with the ‘second seven’ tracks exploring a single theme through a more progressive folk feel. The story is that of shepherd venturing into a deep dark wood and encountering ghouls and goblins - once again there’s that sixties throwback echoing around.
‘Into The Green’ walks a line through Tolkienesque darkness, Andersenian morality and Jordanian mythics, without quite hitting the same level of urgent reader-focused intensity. That’s not to say ‘Into The Green’ doesn’t have its high spots because it certainly does but the flow, melodic strength and impressive hooks of the ‘first seven’ songs is somewhat lacking from the ‘second seven’. Poetic and intriguing, but I felt the second ‘half’ somehow lost its way.
Review: Charlie Elland