I had an amazing moment listening to Siver and Fire. Firstly there was annoyance - at the thought I hadn't heard it before. You see, YourZ often tells me he's bought a CD I'd like, and I nod, and then I never listen to it. That's been the best part of this whole process, you know - moments like this. Because now I'm in love with Martin Craft.
OK, then secondly there was joy at listening to the most beautiful music, amply highlighted by the most poetic lyrics. How about When the planet spins, it sings like the wings of a dragonfly. And All he ever cried for you was a teardrop tattoo.
Thirdly my damn producer head then started analysing the sound and finding little tiny bits of fault with some of the drum tracks and wanted to make them warmer and tighter, less flat and dull. And wondering if Martin really wanted the sound like that, and then berating myself for doing this instead of just enjoying the songs as they came out. And then finally I contemplated going for an extra long drive to hear it again, all the way through.
It's all beautiful, all of it. I can't name a favourite song, but my mouth did fall open a bit in amazement at Snowbird. Starts out spare and builds and builds - before fading away. Orchestral and epic, and like the rest of the album, unforgettable.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
I got Silver And Fire initially out of a sense of alliegance to Martin Craft being as he is an old friend who has 'made good', whatever that means. I've already related how I met him in the Sidewinder review we did recently (see it here if you're interested). There was always a small chance it might have been crap but I was prepared to take a risk. Thankfully, crap is the one thing this isn't.
This is real beauty in music form. No, seriously... It is more than just the songs, the playing, the lyrics or Martin's voice. But it is a combination of all these things and more. From the opening title track, which slowly builds around a beautiful acoustic guitar, he has built a record that may very well be viewed in years to come with the same reverence as we view Nick Drake or Elliott Smith now. There is a confidence in both the songwriting and execution similar to both artists without Craft sacrificing any of his own style.
You Are The Music has a cheeky groove to it that becomes more and more irresitable with each listen, while Lucile (Where Did The Love Go) displays a great updated retelling of classic rock, all while maintaining a restraint not often found in a lot of music these days. Dragonfly, another slow builder, is superbly understated, something Craft seems to excel in achieving. There is so much more to like about Silver And Fire, but I think I will leave it up to you, dear readers, to find this out for yourselves.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
For more information: http://www.myspace.com/mcraftmusic