Album: Noah And The Whale, The First Days of Spring (Mercury)
Friday 28 August 2009
Barely a week goes by these days without the appearance of yet another concept album about a failed love affair, with efforts from La Roux and Frankmusik followed here by Noah and the Whale's account of their frontman and songwriter Charlie Fink's break-up with Laura Marling.
"I do believe that everyone has one chance to fuck up their life," he sings on the title-track. "Like a cut-down tree, I will rise again, bigger and stronger than ever before." With skirling violin spicing the folk-rock arrangement, it has a similar blend of grace and emotion as parts of Astral Weeks, but as track follows self-pitying track, it's not hard to hazard a guess at why the lovely Laura dumped whingeing Charlie, who wears his sensitivity like a cloak while croaking his misery. But one's impatience with Fink is tempered somewhat by the band's inventive sonic strategies, from the melodic use of prepared piano on "Our Window", the glinting pedal steel of "My Door Is Always Open", and the "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"-style humming of "I Have Nothing", to the galloping arrangement – akin to a Sufjan Stevens epiphany – of "Love of an Orchestra".
Download this: The First Days of Spring, Our Window, Love of an Orchestra
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'naked pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'