On 1st September 2006 at 11:59 Anonymous 5941 wrote...
Awesome stuff indeed, I shall be enjoying him here...
By Liam Frost
At only 22 years old, Manchester's Liam Frost, with the accompaniment of The Slowdown Family, has received enormous praise for his brooding and thoughtful brand of acoustic-folk-indie, likened to Badly Drawn Boy, and hailed by some as Britain's answer to Bright Eyes. Always wary of such comparisons in the area of acoustic artists (James Blunt...shudder...), I approached this album with caution. I have to say that no comparisons or reviews could have prepared me for what I found in this astonishingly beautiful piece of work.
Show Me How The Spectres Dance is a stunning nostalgic journey, exorcising one mans personal demons, with undertones of regret and sorrow running through the course of the album, at times dark and complex. However where so many go wrong by exploiting this sentiment until you feel like you're being tortured rather than entertained, Frost has crafted the album expertly, with the perfect mix of bittersweet laments, haunting melodies, and upbeat contemplations, all the while maintaining the nostalgic, confessional sentiment of the album.
'City At A Standstill' is a perfect opening choice, with epic harmonies and rising crescendos instantly captivating the listener with Frost's lament at the state of the world and wanting to escape. "I know this world is vicious darling lets make tracks now". A truly remarkable song of extraordinary status, it perfectly captures the grand scale of musical superiority that the rest of the album is built on. Songs of similar tempo such as 'Shall We Dance' and 'She Painted Pictures' offer this upbeat deliverance of his melancholic reflections to counteract the darkness found in other parts of the album, with a diverse range of instruments from harmonicas to violins making the album complex instrumentally, as well as lyrically and sentimentally.
Songs such as 'If Tonight We Could Only Sleep' and 'This is Love' deal with intense, poignant love, with dark undertones just scratching the surface to what would appear to be volcanic activity of feelings beneath the surface. Frost uses his music in a way that poets would use a diary to express their feelings in a creative way, bearing his soul under the safe protection of spellbinding music.
Stand out track is 'The Mourner of St. Pauls'. It is an absolutely mesmerising and touching tale of survival, with rising crescendos, haunting harmonies and the chant of children's voices complimenting the nostalgic lyrics tinged with sadness that tug at every heartstring in your body and make every hair stand on end. Building up to a powerful finale with Frost's voice cracking with emotion as the violins eventually close the song, it is a masterpiece of personal and magnificent proportions and is deserving of the highest praise.
A breathtaking piece of work, in Show Me How The Spectres Dance Liam Frost has proved he is a force to be reckoned with if he can produce works of such magnificent class at such an early age. With the awe-inspiring support of his band in creating the musical atmosphere his songs demand, Liam Frost and The Slowdown Family deserve the very highest of accolades for this stunning album and are worthy of great success.