Nearly New – Jim Chorley (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

This latest slice of sonic seduction from Jim Chorley lands as a timely reminder of the very nature of the human condition. People need people. Simple. We need them to lean on and to laugh with, they energise us and revive us, they help us forget our problems and, if needs be, share some of the burdens: we are pack animals and we are not designed to work in isolation. And that’s not just me saying that, that’s Darwin!

The world is a tough place, especially at the moment, dark clouds seem to be gathering on every horizon but even when we have been worn down to the edge of despair, when the spark seems to have gone out of our eyes, it is the simple acts of love and tenderness which help restore us…if not anew then nearly new. And nearly new is close enough.

This poignant message plays out via his trademark rich voice, both resonant and worldly yet intimate, and honest to the point of being vulnerable, a lilting and delicate cascade of finger-picked perfection and a simple beat. And it is this directness, this heart on sleeve openness, this relatability which provides its power, the power of understatement and of getting to the point.

We all need songs such as this at some point in our lives, a gentle reminder that hearts wear out, they break, they run out of steam but that they can easily be recharged and reenergised just by being in close proximity to the sympathetic beat of another. Sadly Darwin missed that bit out of his studies but at least we have Jim Chorley to update his work.

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