Monday, 10 November 2014

Album Review - Jonnie Common - Trapped In Amber

Jonnie Common’s latest offering Trapped in Amber  on Song, by Toad Records is an electronic Liquorice
Allsorts of an album.  I have in the past lain in bed at night wondering what Ivor Cutler’s version of 3 Feet High and Rising  would have sounded like.  Now I know.

Jonnie Common will be a national treasure too one day.  With the ability to make the complex sound simple and the simple sound sublime, this collection of enthralling songs and stories is as refreshing as it is engaging and it is unsurprising that he is now receiving critical acclaim outside Scotland.

Savvy listeners were given a sneak preview of what was to come on volume three of the Song, by Toad split 12” series released earlier this year with sneak previews of three tracks from Jonnie Common.  Two of which: the tragically beautiful So and So  and the leading single Shark,  both feature on this new album.

Unable to sit still for a moment, the mix of electronica, humour, out-takes, dubs and melodies is no accident of form, being structured to fit the album format and making this collection of songs a true journey.  The stark comedic sound bites of Guesty  and EDC  punctuate the start of the two 'sides' of the album, whilst Legal Tender  is pure De La Soul.  Just Because  pushes the commercial button but is no less inventive for it and ODB  has a hook line to die for in amongst some fabulous percussion.

To single out any track is to do a disservice to the others.  Go and listen to all of them as Trapped In Amber  is an album in the truest sense of the word, and once which you will be listening to it for a long time.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

- Bobby Motherwell

Jonnie Common - Trapped In Amber  is out now via Song, By Toad Records and is available on CD, vinyl and download here.

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