Fairport Convention,
Over the Next Hill
(Compass, 2004)

Over the Next Hill is the best from Fairport Convention since Wood & the Wire in 2000. It's not quite equivalent to my favorite, 1995's Jewel in the Crown, but it's still an amazing effort.

One of my favorite things about the album is hearing a Fairport Christmas song! "Wassail" is definitely coming out next holiday season.

There are also some unusual topics: "Fossil Hunter" talks about a girl who sells seashells, while "Over the Falls" is one you have to read the liner notes to understand. (Clue: We're talking about a livewire act over Niagara Falls.)

One thing I was grateful for was that I wasn't getting stuck with a bunch of Fairport songs rearranged from previous albums. The only revamp was the last track, "Si Tu Dois Partir," which actually felt right at the close of the album.

Overall, this disc is very listenable. I think this is one of the better of Fairport's releases and I would certify it as an essential as well.

music review by
Becky Kyle

26 February 2011

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