Mudcat Café message #2710562 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123141   Message #2710562
Posted By: The Sandman
28-Aug-09 - 09:10 AM
Thread Name: music critics,do we need them?
Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
Smedley,no It does not rankle,I am using it to illustrate the difference between good and bad reviewing.
now these two reviews will illuminate this further.
Dick Miles playing for time gvr 2382
its difficult to guess why an artist decides on a charge of direction:DickMiles has always been associated with traditional English material but his new album has only one English folk,on One April Morning among nine other items.was itboredom with his usual repertoire,or an urgeto please some imagined shift in taste among live audiences?Maybe the lure of royaltiesfor several tracksare self penned or co written?Whatever the reason Dick Milesis making a stab at being relevantto these straitened and Thatcherite times-theres even a lament for a YOPS cast off,a callow youthof eighteen summers,who gives his call for Queen and country in Eighteen Year Jack.
the mood of the lp is decidely down beat with only a couple of polkas to end each side on an up.Sadly the effect is monochrome,where he tries for a languid effect,he ends up torpid where he should be plaintive hes mournful,and the wide variety of material ends up photographic grey.Theres even would you credit,an attempt at a Lennon/McCartney medley[Yesterday Allmy loving]which is [he searches for a charitable word]Incongruous on a concertina.
   The single trad track mentioned earlier is handled with grace and ease-why oh why doesnt Dick Miles go back to doing what he does bestan album of such material would have been a worthwhile project.the only modern song to pass muster is The Soldiers Prayer which is a Miles tune with a lyric that started out on a scrap of paper tucked into a book,but the notes do not know explain whether he was some long dead soldier odr whether Dick knew the man.
Strongly anti war the lyrictells of a soldier afraid to sleep,knowing what dreams will come to him.Iwould like to see Dick handle the song in a live performance because I guess an audience would feed him and improve the impact.
Guest musicians are Sam Richards on piano and synths,and SteveVerge
who contributes some strum along Bert accompaniment on the two polkas at the end of side one.
On the principle that one should always say something positive,Ican tell youthat my pressinghad clean surfaces,and sweet little oil painting o f Dick Miles aged 13 by[wait for it]Letitia Hicks Beach graces the front cover.would that the contents of the sleeve had soaked up a little of the Multi coloured palette.
contrast:
Dick Miles Playing For Time gvr238.
This latest album by Dick Miles oozes gentilty and expression.he doesnt so much sing a song as caress it with loving care and delicate concertina playing.even the more up tempo tunesare played with finesse and technical excellence that they need careful listening to rather than as background music
the tracks are a mixture of tunes traditional and Dicks own songs like Sweetheart of the East which is about Bury St Edmunds,the ethereal `¬The Singer and the Song¬ and the topically pertinent Eighteen Year Jack.
if you are in the mood for music thatis softly performedand pleasnt on the earthen this album will not disappoint you and if not ,buy it anywayand save it until you are. Derek Gifford