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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year
Rarely, have I heard an album open in such a positive and addictive fashion as heard on “Mary Rest Your Head”. For Campbell & The Open Rotation deliver this exquisite piece on their latest album, and though the song isn’t quite matched they nevertheless come through with an excellent record.
Based on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Campbell (& Co) come close on “Toxic And Sweet”. This as Fiona MacLeod takes on the role of lead vocalist, and with more tight rhythm and excellent production (Tony Doogan produced the record as he did the group’s second album, Toxic Good Toxic Bad in 2012) it and the harmony vocals wrapped “I’ve Got A Kite” next up, the momentum is nicely carried forth. On using all his songwriting nous as a story-teller and not so much a man able to craft infectious uplifting songs “Winter Late In Spring” has it all; redemption, poetic reflections and music that could not be more sympathetic towards the genuine (and) evocative lyrics.
More urgent and poppy, “Born To Be Blind” has the unit dive headlong into a the song and more superb driving rhythm; and with “Going Through The Motions” offering a little sax (and pedal steel), and a now standard brisk rhythmic edge Campbell fronts the rocking piece in style. Utilising a more country Americana feel, as acoustic guitar gains space alongside electric lead and a generally full bodied sound “Chasing Dreams” speaks of a beautiful waitress serving his friend and of how she will turn heads, everywhere she might go. Prettier still, there's the gentle stripped back “New Eyes of Gold”, with occasional piano, organ and a more restrained approach his lyrics aren't slow in creating a glowing romantic entry.
The final three songs of “Circles”, “What We Are Now” and “Ageing Parents” see the album off. First in a slow, sombre based fashion before edging into a shuffling and kind of infectious “What We Are Now” as the band are called into play for the well weighted theme (the lead vocals riving in stylish fashion), and with a sometimes restless jolting even, pop driven playful feel the ditty is set to lift one’s mood in an instant.
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