Review of Graham Coxon's album The Spinning Top.
The latest body of work from Coxon is released on 11th May and was recorded in the Spring of 2008 and boasts contributions from Robyn Hitchcock and Danny Thompson amongst others. 'Spinning Top' is somewhat of a departure from Coxon's usual offerings, being a laid back acoustic driven affair. The album is said to be the story of a man from his journey from birth to death, and hence has fifteen tracks.
The opening track 'Look Into The Light' borrows heavily from Nick Drake, the finger picked acoustic and straightforward lyrics give the track a mellow and airy feel. The third track 'In The Morning', an eight minute plus epic, again draws upon Drake but also has flavours of a handful of other folk artists. The track has some very nice supporting bass and percussion.
On 'If You Want Me' tinges of Blur begin to creep in with some heavier electric guitar and drums, which in all honesty was welcomed at this point. Following on from this track are two more folk based pickers in 'Perfect Love' and 'Brave The Storm', with the second having female backing vocals and some enjoyable musicianship.
'Dead Bees' starts with some wailing whereupon a nice chunky rhythm enters, with some subtle electric guitar and tom-tom drumming, the track again was well placed on the album. This track is then followed by 'Sorrow's Army' which has inklings of Elvis Costello and is one of the standout tracks from the album.
The album then reverts back to several laid back acoustic tracks, which in themselves are not bad tracks at all, but they leave you wanting to hear something more akin to Coxon. Some disjointed fuzz guitar, dark vocals.. This however, never seems to come.
It is not that the album itself is poor, there are some good tracks on there and Coxon has utilised some excellent musicians, who prove they know their craft well. The album just seems to be overlong and never really feels like it delivers and does not have any real direction to it.
This is probably a must for a Coxon fan, but Blur, Nick Drake or folk/acoustic enthusiasts should probably give this a miss.
Highlights: Brave The Storm, Dead Bes, Sorrow's Army