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Ghosts and Men – Beth Wimmer (Independent Release)
A lot of rock n roll is all about romanticising the rebel, the outlaw, the ‘Lovers On The Run’, it’s rare though, for a songwriter to tell of
the fear, the practical nervous concerns, of one of those lovers, taken along for a ride they didn’t completely commit to, it’s rare to show the humanity behind this most charming of scenarios. Wimmer opens her new album with this distinctive look at the personal, and in a way it’s a statement of intent.
In the very next song, ‘Sweet Tragedy’ she carefully sketches, the poets attempt to live the colour in his words, while existing in the grey of his existence. She, the singer, can still love him, but she also really knows him, and again its this slant on what we call romantic that elevates this.
We fumble, we hustle, we fall down and often take our sweet time getting up and pushing on, and now we have an artist to capture all this, in subtle shades of pop Americana, delicate hues of finely played country, forgoing the cliché of the victim in song and concentrating with a fragile benevolence on these flawed, yet strangely wonderful characters.
Now based in Switzerland, Beth Wimmer seems to have found the perfect detachment needed to fully flesh out these small town vignettes ,
staying away from soap opera angst, and easy solutions within the 3 minute pop son structure that so many are happy to settle for.
Although most of these songs feature betrayal, either emotional or physical, this is no collection of songs from the point of view of the victim,
rather its a loving quiet calm, that seeps through the tunes, adding beauty to the rhythms and in every verse there is the steel hint of hope, which makes this an extremely uplifting experience.
As with all Wimmer albums, the singer is so in sync with her band, that the recording has an easy live feel, of course something that sounds
this effortless, means that a great deal of care and work went into its construction, and here I can report that every instrument MATTERS, but no one hogs the limelight, no shiver or sigh is added just for the sake of it.
This album transcends that old stereotype and really does get better with every listen
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