Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams,
The Great Unravel
(High Noon, 2008)

How do they fit that name on posters and marquees? Well, the important thing to remember here is to go beyond a band name that may cause you to dismiss them unheard. If you listen only to the opening track on The Great Unravel, you will be disabused of the idea that Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams is anything less than serious.

"Desire" is a song that in content and delivery will stop you in your tracks. This strong production continues with "Pushin' Up Daisies." "Julia" is a personal favourite here. The vocals melt beautifully into the enticing backing.

This album never allows the listener fall into a state of knowing what to expect. Every track brings a fresh sound. "Summer's Day" has a David Bowie-like delivery that fits perfectly into the mood before the song goes into a short explosive chorus. Another favourite track is "Everyone Has a Broken Heart" with its country style sound and sentiment. "Light Away" is yet another entrancing track on an album with so many great offerings.

There is a weird unlisted track 13 on the album if you get past some silence.

The fact that all tracks are written by the wonderfully named Josiah Longo goes to prove that one person can master many genres of writing.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Nicky Rossiter

21 March 2009

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