Review Archive

'Let Every Tongue' from John Carroll

(November 10, 2012)

There’s always a trace of the inveterate wanderer in the Irish sprit and John Carroll from Limerick (no relation), is no exception. Now living in Hangzhou, China, his album 'Let Every Tongue'is a result of five years living in that country; emigrating, adapting and adjusting to the culture, language and all the John Carrollpersonal changes that involved. Dwelling far from his ancestry or not 'Let Every Tongue' reflects the roots of his heritage as much as his view of the present.

For a start John’s penetratingly poignant lyrics are done superb justice by his rich voice complete with clearly identifiable brogue. Back this richness with a powerful and evocative delivery and there’s an album that you will relish. There’s the presence of the title track 'Let Every Tongue' with its achingly desperate cry: “Let every tongue uncoil itself, when mouths refuse to speak. Anchor my ears to a crevasse in your skull, near the murmurs of your mind.” There’s a chord of experience and warning locked inside ‘Fugitive Song’ and nothing short of reflective sadness and realisation that the world is what it is sealed within ‘Farmer and Friesian’ – no doubt about it, John writes incredibly tender songs that strike home, every single time.

The essential essence of this album is John’s ability as a songwriter – words and music in perfect harmony. Listen to ‘Old Dog’ to understand exactly what I mean, as hauntingly beautiful melody and affecting words combine; while the call for wider understanding encapsulated in ‘Don’t Shield Your Eyes’ walks its way across a strong guitar-driven line. I could listen to this man sing for a long time, and I think that you will too. Follow this link: carrolljohn.bandcamp.com and spend some money on some very good music.

With John Carroll (vocals, guitar) on the album are Rita Van Dyke (piano) and Zhou Da Yun (cello). Recorded in Hangzhou, China, 'Let Every Tongue' is available to download and buy from iTunes and Bandcamp. 

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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