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WILLIE CAMPBELL & THE OPEN DAY ROTATION —NEW CLOUDS IN MOTION (Invisible King)

www.williecampbell.co.uk

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. 

                                                                                       Maurice Hope 

    Maurice Hope 

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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