Cindy Lee Berryhill
Inspirational Yet Uneasy On The Ear Anti-Love Songs.
As a general rule I no longer review albums that I deem ‘challenging’; yet there was ‘something’ about this album that has kept drawing me back to it, over the last couple of weeks.
Written and recorded over the last 5 years, this is a series of left of centre Alt. Rock meets the Avant Garde songs; inspired by Cindy’s late husband Paul Williams, the founder of Crawdaddy magazine, who died in 2013.
Opening track American Cinematography has a certain mystical/Eastern Beatles flavour to it; although Cindy’s deadpan delivery sounds nothing like Paul McCartney! It’s probably the melody here that has kept me coming back time and time again; peeling away the many layers that Cindy hides her feelings under.
While fundamentally an album of Love Songs to her late husband, they aren’t always easy on the ear; with the darkly beautiful an Affair of the Heart being the nearest to what you would hear on the radio.
But when you invest enough time; songs like Somebody’s Angel and Gravity Falls unravel like 3D Jigsaw and leave you quite breathless.
Others are a bit too Avant-Garde for my tastes; yet I Like Cats/You Like Dogs and Contemplating the Infinite (In a kiss) both left me cold until the night I listened on headphones; and then the parts all fell into place and I’ve grown to like…no, love both.
While not alone, title track The Adventurist uses a crazy collection of instruments, marimba, sheet metal, vibraphone, cello, violin and banjo alongside more traditional devices to create a gorgeous backing that never overwhelms Cindy Lee’s ever so natural voice.
The final track Deep Sea Dishing is an instrumental worthy of being on a film soundtrack and finds Cindy not only playing guitars but also the less well known dishwasher!
As well as the opening song, the other I keep going back to is Gravity Falls; a slightly Baroque slice of atmospheric Alternative Rock; not unlike something Polly Harvey or Tori Amos may record, so it takes the accolade of RM Favourite Track.
So, The Adventurist won’t appeal to everyone and nor was it intended to; but those with a sense of musical adventure will fall in love with this irregular creation.
Released March 10th 2017