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
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Arts & Ents blogs
Heavy rain and years of neglect may have caused Apollo Theatre roof to collapse
Christmas TV guide 2013: Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
Justin Bieber isn't retiring from music after all
The Harry Hill Movie, film review: Screenplay isn't so much offbeat as utterly feeble
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >