‘Real World’ from acoustic duo Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby(March 30, 2013)
Take your time with this and it will return you to places you hoped you would never leave and bring back memories you thought gone forever. ‘Real World’ from acoustic duo Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby is an album that feels like it belongs to a bygone time when the sun was warmer and the moon shone brighter. Now I’m old enough to know that time never really existed, it’s just that time and distance create reality out of the memories and dreams. And that’s what this album does. It takes you on a journey through remembrances of shared personal experiences, piercing narratives and untold imaginings captured in songs
The songs, which are overwhelming, are in their own words: “... un-doctored recordings captured 'live' in the studio ... without overdubs of additional voices or instruments and minimal use of studio effects.” These songs may be ‘as they come’ without unnecessary trimmings and embellisments but they come with enough emotion to flood your mind. Cathryn’s alluring voice weaves enchanting lyrics through the intricate musical web laid down by Brian, unadulterated perhaps but spectacular nonetheless. From a deeply sensitive look back of ‘Malahide Moon’ through understanding the stark truth of ‘Time Has Proved You Right’ to the heartbreaking reflections of ‘Two Hearts One Love’ there is a deep seated spirit here.
I avoid listing every track in a review but there are so many fine songs here it’s tempting to simply start with the opening track and run through each one. Avoiding that trap I’ll emphasise the standouts - for me they are the tenderly beautiful ‘Alice’s Song’, the powerful determination of ‘I Will’ and the endearingly hopeful ‘Goodbye Old Friend’.
For lovers of outstanding songwriting, stunning guitar and wonderful voice this one is a must.
‘Real World’ is available from Cathryn and Brian’s website: www.craigandwilloughby.com - and also iTunes and Amazon.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll