Cherry Red 2015
Sharp yet smooth: most uncompromising song cycle from veteran observer.
Trevor Midgley, artistically known as Beau, has been juxtaposing romantic notions with sociopolitical agenda from the very start of his career, from 1971’s "Creation" on to "Fly The Bluebird" from 2014. Yet its successor might be the crystallization of such an approach, with the same contrast approximating absolute – not absolution. Not for nothing the album’s title springs off the dramatic “The Oyster & The Pearl” which aims this wordly arrow not at the paupers but at the princes of today’s world. For every critical lash there’s a 12-string lace, though, so delicate in “Masquerade” where lyrical princess dwells, and in the Sibelius-based “Tree Of Life” searching the bright future behind the weapon-wielding present.
As usual with Beau, parallels are drawn here on historic level, and the record starts with “Storm In The Eye Of God” that provides a new angle on the migration motives, while “America For Sale” pitches the pity for those who don’t value their own country. Still, “Guardians Of Their Own Truth” digs for the roots of faith deep into the dark ages, so yes, these pieces’ religious aspect is deceptive, as “Uncle Joe” hints, and is shattered to pieces in “The Atheist Hymn” which finds the ultimate, mathematically proven wisdom of one’s right to not believe. Quite haunting, its theme can’t fight the folk transparency of “This Is Your Dream” anyway, allowing the singer to whisper in your ear to chase the woes away. Here’s the pinnacle of that old juxtaposition – the spirituality of freedom.