An artist of reality
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Date: 22 March, 2004
Steve Tomkins listens
to Martyn Joseph's latest album
This is not to say Martyn Joseph sells his fans
short, by any stretch of the imagination. He is the living proof
that less is more.
Whoever It Was... is Martyn's first proper new album in four years, though since then he's been far from silent, with a Best Of, two live CDs, a supergroup collaboration and a couple of smaller charity releases.
This is the one we've been waiting for though, and it's a corker.
Wake Me Up used to be a rocker when Martyn
first played it on the Faith Folk and Anarchy tour with Tom Robinson
and Steve Knightly.
Others however are all the more powerful for
being laid back. Every Little Sign is the story of a couple
who have let things come between them, realising it's not too late
and trying to recapture the magic.
This Being Woman, you could easily miss
on a first listen, but it's another very powerful song. Giving the
finger to the rock'n'roll cult of youth, it celebrates the life
of an older woman, capturing the tragedy and the dignity and the
The closing title track has a slightly hymn-ish feel to it, but a hymn of Leonard Cohen's rather than Charles Wesley's. It's a late night song of resignation, weariness, limping, downheartedness, and carrying on anyhow.
The song, and the album as a whole, confirms Martyn's status as an artist of reality, of real music and real life. He takes you through grief and glory and always leaves you with a sense of hope. Not bad for 36 minutes.