Bob McParland,
(self-produced, 2002)

Bob McParland has a poetic style, often backed by a choir of angels on this album. Love -- the force of it, the transience of it and the loss of it -- is his main theme. This is nothing new, perhaps, but there are a number of different styles on the album, and although I wasn't quite ready for the stormy "Love Holds On" after the quiet introductory tracks, I found the change of pace refreshing.

On the whole I prefer the simpler guitar or keyboards with vocal combinations, and I didn't get on too well with the more experimental introduction of heavy bass or what I found to be discordant guitar on the final track, "Dream." Perhaps it's just a personal thing, but I prefer Bob's gentler vocals, too.

However, those simpler combinations are very effective, and the lyrics are honest enough to impress. All eight tracks are original songs, and my favourite is the one digression from the love-poem. "Sailing Again" tells about Billy, an old sailor sitting in a quayside pub, afraid of the future: "If I had my way I would live on the sea/And all would respect this wreck that is me/I am cracked at the helm and I can't guarantee/That this course I am on will see land."

This is a pleasant album, with just enough variety to keep it interesting, and I wouldn't mind hearing more.

- Rambles
written by Jean Lewis
published 29 November 2003