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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Son of musician, painter and author the late Kevin Coyne son Robert has drum legend, metronome styled performer Jaki Liebezeit back up his creations and gentle probing vocals on this their third album (The Obscure Department, 2013 and Golden Arc, 2015 their previous albums). Awash in subtle, deft changes in mood and style Coyne goes a little 1960s-ish on “Another May Of Mud” (it sounds like something Donovan did or might have done during his experimental years), good it is too.
While some melodies tend to be a little repetitive, there is nevertheless a soothing and inviting quality to their work, and with also adding acoustic guitar and keyboards, and on one cut “Thank You” bass guitar to go with the only other player on the record Aglaja Camphausen on cello. While her harmony vocals on “Ball Of Light” and Wendy Coyne’s on the beautifully textured “I Still Have This Dream” like everything else to do with the record are sophisticated and artful.
Reflective, the songs are peppered with darkness but not overly so, and with a little irony here and there Coyne’s lyrics lead the listener along a journey that on occasions isn’t awash in hopeful vibes. A pleasing melody and hook even on “Tough In Love”, and there others too where variations to mood and tempo are deftly put in place by the boys.
He speaks of being back on the street again on “Soothing Sounds” but there is nevertheless an easy almost at peace feel as speaks of being free of material things. Interesting, and most certainly a creative pairing who know each other as well as they know themselves.
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