Review: State Of Undress - Journeys Of The Heart
Journeys Of The Heart
|Artist:||State Of Undress|
|Album:||Journeys Of The Heart|
|Date of Release:||2012/05|
|Cat. No.:||SOU 006|
|Country of Release:||UK|
|Genre/s:||World | Folk Rock|
|Date of Review:||2012/08/02|
Journeys Of The Heart
State Of Undress' latest offering, Journeys Of The Heart, was released on Rosebud Music last May. (Rosebud - any connection to Orson Welles' all-time classic movie Citizen Kane per chance, one wonders?)
A quintet from Dorset made up of lead singer Charlie Rose, guitarist and all-round multi-instrumentalist and occasional lead singer Alan Rose, fiddler Jerry Bird, bassist Malcolm Windett and Keith Fletcher on drums and percussion, State Of Undress come across as an unstoppable force of nature, with a sharp, distinctive main attack coming from the vocals and violin. They are delightfully impossible to pigeon-hole, with the music on Journeys Of The Heart being a hearty blend of roots rock, roots music, contemporary folk, modern folk, and even a touch of country and the odd Celtic influence here and there. One could hardly wish for more wonderful 'genre'-bending.
The material here consists of nine delightful and utterly charming originals by the various band members, plus one Dylan and a traditional song. All of this is delivered with superb musicianship as well as greatest enthusiasm and exuberance. There is something that immediately draws one to Charlie Rose's distinctive, rootsy voice, and its charisma keeps one spellbound. Rich textures and good, pleasing harmonies enhance the experience. For the most part, Journeys Of The Heart is a good mix of music that pulls at the heart strings and gets your foot tapping, nay makes you want to put on your dancing shoes! From poignant via provocative to the dance-inducing, this album has the lot.
Listening to Journeys Of The Heart, I would like little better than to sit in a Dorset or other West Country country pub listening to State Of Undress over a few jars of Piddle or some other fine local ale or zoider! But failing that, I'd settle for something more easily accessible like Camden's The Green Note or The Forge and something non-alcoholic for now.
With an album as consistent as Journeys Of The Heart, it would be utter futility to even try and pick out a single favourite track. However, I dare say State Of Undress do have a real show-stopper in their rendition of the traditional The Keys of Canterbury! A well chosen closer to a thrilling album. Journeys Of The Heart is totally spellbinding, not merely compelling. Beautiful, completely charming, even brilliant, and a most enjoyable listen that you feel you instantly have to play again. Utterly irresistible, infectious, exuberant music. Watch out for this band!
State Of Undress' Journeys Of The Heart is an absolute must have for any roots/folk type of music lover - if that even approximately describes you, go and buy this fabulous album. Now. And it will appeal well beyond the roots/folk aficionado, so give it a try.
1. The Hangman's Daughter (A. & C. Rose) - 5:33
Credits:Charlie Rose - lead vocals (exc. 4, 6, 9 - backing vocals)
Alan Rose - guitar, lead vocals (4, 9, 11), mandolin (1, 11), banjo (7), backing vocals
Jerry Bird - violin (exc. 3, 6), viola (5, 6), guitar (3), mandolin (9), backing vocals
Malcolm Windett - bass (exc 6), guitar (6), lead vocals (6), backing vocals
Keith Fletcher - drums, percussion (exc. 6), backing vocals
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