Methylene Blue  –  Jane Allison (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

ja-cd-cover-onlineIt is strange, admittedly, but there is something quite enjoyable about a well-penned mournful song, something universal and comforting in its sad refrain and they don’t come much better than the dark, slow and majestic Another Prayer, a song of loss, longing and perhaps unrequited love. And love in all its forms is the foundation that this album is built on and even in its most heart tugging and reflective moments there is always a hope filled “chaser” sweet with the taste of  optimism just around the corner.

On an album woven through with poeticism and eloquence, poise and elegance, the title track stands proud even above such a benchmark, inspired in part by the love letters Violet Trefusis wrote to Vita Sackville-West. But it is this thread of love and defiance, of sheer heart on sleeve honesty and the vulnerability that only comes with the complete baring of the soul that defines this wonderful album.

It is an album made against a backdrop of personal loss and tumultuous world events so much so that the studio became a musical sanctuary and the album coalesced into one about the art of  survival and has a Samuel Beckett “I can’t go…I’ll go on” feel to its more inward looking moments.

Musically Jane continues in her blending of traditions from both shores of The Atlantic, the English and Celtic folk sound with the inherent melancholy of country music and the drifting, misty mountain vibe which often occupies the common ground between and she does so brilliantly. In fact there can’t be many artists who already sound like they have more than paid their songwriting dues by the end of their second album but Methylene Blue certainly feels that way.


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