Another one that I really didn’t expect to be given. Here is a folk album and an individual one at that. Stormcock doesn’t clock in at the most epic length album at around 42 minutes in length and further to that, this album has only four tracks.
By nature, Harper’s folk sound is a gentle strumming guitar with his own vocals as the primary sound. That isn’t to say that Harper doesn’t include other instruments, sounds or techniques, such as track layering. In the middle of The Same Old Rock he goes for layers and layers of his own voice with an otherworldly sound before punctuating with his definitive guitar sound.
Music is Harper’s voice and although folk wouldn’t be my first choice, it’s his medium. He’s rather defiant in style, with Hors D’Oeuvres, the more depressing in nature lyrically, having a much more upbeat feel. Likewise, Me And My Woman, though more positive in feel, has a bit of a glum undertone.
Me And My Woman is my favourite track of the album by a long stretch and perhaps this is because it’s the track that Harper allows to get a little more grand, with backings of orchestral strings and very poignant piano strikes. All the time, with the constant solid backing of his own stumming and musings. One gets a real Simon and Garfunkle feel at a lot of moments, supported by the fact that Harper’s voice bares quite a likeness to that of Paul Simon.
The real challenge here is that this album made me very thoughtful and, with so many musings in an analytical sense or posed questions, I’m in danger of sounding like I disliked this album, which isn’t true at all. It is definitely one that made me think more than any other that I have reviewed so far.
Most importantly, Roy Harper is a man who knows his style, has a real talent for lyrics and song writing and a very solid performer generally. The tracks alone are quite involved and really this short post seems like the wrong place right now to be dissecting lyrics.
Is this album for you?
Perhaps the most divisive so far but this album is certainly not for everyone. It’s for those who can get on with the early 70’s and the style within. Furthermore, this album is of a distinct style, which will again separate people. With those qualifiers standing, I really think that Stormcock, although more difficult to get into, is worth the time to listen through.
Do give it a go!
- Writing: 8/10
- Performance: 8/10
- Style: 7.5/10