'Geography' by Roseanna Ball - an elusive and subtle vibrancy(February 22, 2015)
There’s much to be said for simplicity, listen to ‘Geography’ by Roseanna Ball and you can’t help but feel the music getting under your skin. Taking a simplistic approach, on the face of it you’re listening to an accomplished multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter delivering a cross-section of lyrically insightful, narrative songs across subjects both personal and fictional, close-felt experiences and wider histories.
Beyond that lies the difference - a voice that falls squarely into the ‘hear once and want to hear again’ category - unaffected vocals and individual phrasing offering a potency that brings story-songs closer to the listener. Arriving with a gloriously untainted naivety Roseanna’s voice breathes an elusive and subtle vibrancy into the lyrics that beguiles you to listen.
The album begins on a joyous upbeat trip with ‘Mexican Girl’ sliding into the echo of working men and memories of ‘the days of steam trains’ relayed through ‘The Line’. There’s a penetrating personal authority to ‘Widemouth Bay’ inspired by Roseanna’s late father - overflowing with recollected sayings and memories. The delicious ‘Barefoot and Kissing’ arrives with a melodic energy that springs and weaves around the lyrics, contrasted by the calm reassurance of ‘I’ll Stay’, or the gentle melancholy of reflection in ‘At The Bottom’ – and throughout that distinctive voice offers a enchantment you’re bound to follow.
‘Geography’ by Roseanna (acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, piano) is one of those quietly engaging albums that will hopefully gain the recognition it really deserves.
Reviewer: Charlie Elland