Eric Bogle, |
This is both a joyous and a sad review to write. With this, the 15th album release by Eric Bogle on the Greentrax label, he says he is "hanging up his touring boots" -- and, having seen him perform live, I can say that is truly a sad milestone. The joyous part is that we get an album of 11 tracks -- mostly new -- and all but one from his pen; the other is by John Munro.
The album is called The Dreamer, and Bogle dreams up some complex tales to share ... but his dreams are also very real.
He revisits one of his most beautiful songs, dedicated to his mother, Nancy, on "Standing in the Light," a song that all sons and daughters should be singing on Mother's Day each year. Listen to Emma Luker's fiddle playing on this version and your eyes will surely mist over.
"Snowdrop" is from the pen of John Munro, a wonderfully touching song set to a lilting melody so suited to John's voice.
The title song is almost autobiographical as Bogle sings of the songs he has written and reminds us of the power of well-written music to move our minds and more importantly our money and efforts into trying to change things. Pollution in our modern world is allied to our stupid indifference on the aptly titled "Someone Else's Problem." Listen to his tale of The Murray and transpose the sentiments to your own street, town, parks or whatever is being lost.
On "Lost Soul," Bogle returns to the Great War but this time the focus is not on the WASP but rather on the native Australians and the shameful tragedy of those who fought the fight but were still not recognized as citizens and were given that status on a temporary basis in order to enlist. How much more of this disgraceful history of man is waiting to be exposed through songs?
The album closes appropriately with "The Last Note," and although it is a great song the fact that it is finishing this album saddens me. The song is a wonderful evocation of a musical performance that once again showcases Bogle's way with words, and even if you never appeared on stage it can give you the feeling of how it feels to close a show. As he says, the music can "tear me to pieces and somehow make me whole." Listen closely to this album and you will understand.
25 July 2009
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