Oh boy or oh girl. My hankies were in the wash, otherwise, I would have had them handy when I listened to this one. Like Jennifer Warnes singing Leonard Cohen songs, this album of Melody Pool’s pulls at the heartstrings, haunts the toughest mind and heart and it makes you bleed sympathy and empathy.
I love sad songs, call me a sadist, but that is my thing. This album goes beyond sad, though. It takes you to the darkest places and it almost takes you for a leap off a cliff (but in a good way). The amazing, slick, polished orchestration and composition of the music on this album, let alone the words that are twisted up in bitterness, sadness, depths of despair and strife is simply brilliant.
This folky/bluesy album has been described in another review as ‘chunky country’ – another shade to add to the 79 different types that we have already in country music. It is actually hard to categorise, in the end, it is just great, thought provoking music. The words are marvellous.
Each song is well crafted and not for the faint hearted. The songs are from a deep pool (pun intended). Some of the words may offend, but the songs are the cold, hard truth. The album is a representation of what we know exists, but don’t always want to admit to knowing about.
If you want to whistle a happy tune, don’t give this one a spin. If you want to look at life as it really is in a dark hallway or on a lonely hilltop, then this is the one for you. If you want to listen to beautiful melodies and mind blowing vocals, then this is the one for you. If you want to hear lyrics that touch a nerve, make you aware of life outside your own window or remind you of a time in your life when things weren’t crash hot and enlighten you to how far you have come, then this is the album for you.
I have seen and heard Melody Pool several times over the years, and each time, she has evolved. If you are hearing her for the first time, you will wonder why you haven’t heard her on some big, world stage. Her songs will break your heart, they may also help you mend a friend’s heart. This album is essentially about chasing that old black dog away. It ends with a song called ‘Better Days’ which offers hope. You may need to have a strong drink or a doughnut or a long, hot bath after this album. It is exhaustingly, gut wrenchingly beautiful and heartbreaking. At times, it is a glass half full album, at others, a glass half empty one.
The album is a journey. At journey’s end, there is a fork in the road. As with life, you can go one way or the other.
The choice is yours.