Quietly Spinning Man,
Inside Out
(Osmosys, 2004)

Inside Out is a wonderfully gentle album of new music and song. It will wash away your worries and elevate your spirit; you will experience quiet reflection, heartfelt emotions and wonderful lyrics.

"Fly High" opens the album with a lovely tale of finding a book on a train; it reminds us of the power of words and, as such, it is a significant opener. The songs that follow continue to remind us of this power.

In this era of manufactured pop idols singing often inane lyrics, this album is a breath of fresh air. Using spare instrumentation, the human voice and the sounds it creates, it echoes the sentiments of the heart and mind.

A personal favourite is "Interlude." A sample of the lyrics of this song will indicate the content of the album: "in your eyes there are pictures of untold stories, warming you in their release."

The creative forces behind this album are Andrew McNeill and Gavin Beckwith. Andrew cites the influence of listening to radio for over four decades while Gavin recalls teaching himself to play a guitar found under his parents' bed. They distill this immersion in music and self-tuition into a compelling collection of excellent songs.

"Letter" is a song that probably explains the entire album if we put song in place of letter in the lyrics. This theme recurs on "North Country Tales" as they sing a song of singers and writers who weave tales that haunt our souls even on a single hearing.

The insights of the compositions are personified on "Tilley," a tale of a lady of advanced years that captures an era fast disappearing with a lady who wears her hat because "she comes from an age where bare heads wouldn't do."

Osmosys Records seem to have captured a gap in the market by specializing in music and songs that are top-class but have that quiet intensity we could easily miss just by giving a casual listen to an album. Pay a little attention to this CD and be awakened to words again.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 19 February 2005

Buy it from Amazon.com.