Monday, 6 September 2010

The Return of Miracle Mile Monday ...well almost



Last year Trevor Jones lead singer of Miracle Mile took the plunge and released a solo lp "Hopeland" under his own name. This was prompted by a change in approach to writing and the more reflective nature of the songs , some of which were spoken word, poems set to music. I raved about it here. Well it seems the long school holiday for Miracle Mile is lasting a bit longer as he has recorded a follow up lp "Keepers"


It really does feel like a sister lp of "Hopeland" with again spoken word pieces along side reflective songs. Although this time the prompting is a sense of loss rather than a sense of hope.


For me there are a three key differences with the 2 lps, firstly this time the power of the spoken pieces comes less from a sense of simplicity and more from being immersed in a short story. The backing to these tracks again perfectly walks the tightrope of supporting and enhancing the mood without distracting from the words.


Secondly there is more a sense of flexing the recording muscles as far as the backing tracks go , and as a result the lp is full of small stand out moments , the hand claps on folding sheets the backing vocals on In Your Eye and the beautiful almost classical guitar solo of I deny. The use of acoustic guitar , piano and slide guitar mean these moments really shine. It is one of those lps that gives pleasure in the smallest things


Thirdly part of the this muscle flexing sees a number of the songs augmented by some fantastic orchestration from Miracle Mile partner Marcus Cliffe. I suspect the cost of getting an orchestra in means that these sounds are from a machine, if this is the case never has a machine sounding so warm and immersed in the mood of each song. For me these are the real highlights of Keepers and why much as I loved Hopeland ,this is the better lp.


There is also a comforting sense of familiarity in some of the themes and images linking Keepers with Hopeland and the more personal Miracle Mile songs, the search for blue skies, the memories of a white dog to the extent that there is a stripped down cover of the Miracle Mile song Papillon


Finally somehow Marcus Cliffe's production has created an intimate personal sound that is pin sharp. Even on my crappy car stereo I almost found myself looking at the passenger seat expecting to see Trevor with guitar doing an in car performance


I've not posted any tracks because I simply think if you have liked anything you heard on Miracle Mile Monday , you should buy the lp which you can preorder here


4 comments:

  1. Sorry,I should have commented on this earlier.
    A wonderful review of my album of the year.
    I too prefer it to 'Hopeland',(my album of 2009).
    On first listening it moved me to tears,which has never happened to me before!
    Phil
    Tel Aviv

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  2. cheers phil - it is one of those lps where my favourite song changes all the time

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  3. trevor jones is music video???? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwZUvf93-w0

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  4. Blimey, 'Bless this Ship', that's a blast from the past.
    I thought that I had all 7 inchers in my attic.
    I seem to remember Mike Reed making the flip side 'Bless this Ship' his 'Play of the Day'. It might be the rosy hue of nostalgia but it all sounds rather fine to me; maybe because we had a half decent singer back then; the wonderful Steve Smith.
    Trev

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