‘Florilegium’ from Louise Jordan(July 23, 2012)
There’s nothing like an obscure Medieval-Latin name to entice interest but ‘Florilegium’ from Louise Jordan lures far beyond its title. It attracts and engages because it’s an album of thoroughly captivating compositions that draws its energy from the deep wells of folk and classical.
Her 2011 debut album Tempvs promised much, now with ‘Florilegium’ that promise is made good. This is an inward-looking album - reflecting personal experience, memories of people and echoes of places. Although Louise observes moments in time so acutely she makes it easy share in the emotion and depth of feeling encapsulated in her songs.
There's a subtle force and rapture to her touch on both cello and piano, but from start to finish it’s the lyrics and vocals that reach out. The moment ‘Brave Face’ begins Louise’s voice offers a hauntingly exquisite echo of sad acceptance, there’s also the cutting simplicity and starkly powerful lyrics of ‘Talk is Cheap’, and the intensely moving ‘Where Did You Go’ awash with its palpable sense of loss. Other treasures include the gentle delivery of ‘Promises Like Pie Crust’, which sets out an essential truth of life and ‘For The Asking’ with its precisely measured edge of sorrow. Whichever song you select, the lyrics are there to hit the spot: “But I will not be a victim of your mistakes, though I cannot breathe with these fumes of your disgrace.”
Throughout this album the word fragile comes to mind. And that doesn’t mean flimsy in terms of easily broken or hurriedly assembled. This is the ‘fragile’ of fine, barely-opaque porcelain and newly opened, dew-covered petals. It’s the fragility of perfection and deserves to be treated as such.
And in case you're wondering, and as Louise will tell you, ‘florilegium’ means "gathering of flowers to reflect the diversity of songs on the album". And as far as I'm concerned that's entirely accurate. So now you know. You can find ‘Florilegium’ on Amazon.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll