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Sparkle Like Your Shoes by Tremulous Monk

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Reviewed on 31st October 2004.


Sparkle Like Your Shoes

By Tremulous Monk

The monk in question is York boy Chris Wilkinson. After building his own studio in his hometown he set about recording several EPs which lead to the release of this album.

From the bright clarity of the title track, with its gently affectionate lyrics, it's clear that our Wilkinson is capable of providing a captivating musical experience. He relies on simple, winsome statements ("what you do/is pull me through") that sound a little silly on the printed page but work in context. Later, he sings "I know what she means by the trees" ('Trees'). I wasn't sure myself but it sounded personal as well as opaque. On 'Bliss' Wilkinson picks out a nice guitar melody and allows the vocals to mimic it. He sings of a medicinal lady friend "My baby's pills that cure such ills/Will steer me clear 'cross the lake". A quietly thankful song.

Wilkinson has been compared to Nick Drake. This is true in terms of the generally delicate approach to songwriting but certainly not in terms of approach to guitar work. The guitar is always simple and a little tentative. Sometimes it's embellished by xylophone as on the track 'Tinkering' which sounds just like its name suggests (and a little like some of the incidental music from Betty Blue). Occasionally, there's a fuzzy guitar and it's a little unexpected but not unwelcome ('Dry your Eyes').

There are no big tunes on this album. What you do have is great CD to listen to the morning after the night before.



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