|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
CD REVIEW – by Chris Spencer
This is the third CD that Cardier has released in the past five years, since returning to the music scene after a break of over a decade.
It continues in the same vein as the previous two, one of which, House of Mirrors, was reviewed in Trad&Now #25 – a mixture of upbeat and beefy songs contrasted with slow, almost poetic recitals.
The title track is based around an interesting riff and deals with the anguish of love; “Angelica” is another love song that utilises a boisterous beat that Cardier admits to borrowing from the blues’ greats.
That same stomping rhythm gets outings on “Watch Out, Drive That Car” (with its wailing harmonica in the background) and “Water into Wine”.
I looked to see who the musicians who assisted Cardier with this album.
It seems Glenn added all the extra instruments himself – organ here and there, not sure if they’re real drums or not and harmonica.
While following a similar pattern of the previous releases, contrasting the gentler slow paced songs with the upbeat ones, as an experienced entertainer is wont to do, to keep the listener interested.
Unlike the two previous albums there is no obvious humorous song, such as the Elvis Presley song.
Perhaps “Flash Guitar” that tells of a musician purchasing and losing a favourite guitar is this album’s nod to recording something different.
As with previous albums, Glenn has written a song with ambiguous lyrics: in this instance “Life of the Party”, could be interpreted as a sinister relationship between politicians, criminals or perhaps it’s just an innocuous song about two people being so infatuated with each other that they ignore the rest of the world.
In the middle of writing this review I had communication with Glenn who only included songs whose lyrics he was happy with.
He felt there was an unintentional theme that links many of the songs together – a kind of an apocalyptic Australian road trip!
With lovers on the run and desperate.
“Life of the Party” certainly fits into this theme, – so much for my interpretation!
I just love his little rhyming couplet in “She’s the One for Me”: “She stands on the verandah dressed as Carmen Miranda.”
The production in most cases is sparse, which reflects his live solo performances, but is always understated.
His voice can change from a growl to being poignant and reflective but it has not lost any of his timbre or strength as he has aged.
Now that Glenn has produced three engaging albums in a similar style, I would like to see him wander outside his familiar comfort zone to co-write with other writers, employ a different producer and work with other musicians, asking them to guest on the songs in order to challenge and push Cardier to produce even better music.
If you’ve enjoyed either of his two previous albums, this album won’t surprise you; if you have not heard his previous music, you will not be disappointed in this album.
About the artist: The reclusive singer-songwriter Glenn Cardier performs his songs and stories of dark humor. In the 70’s, he produced three albums of highly original folk/rock songs. He played the first two Sunbury festivals and worked with the likes of Frank Zappa, Spike Milligan, and Fairport Convention. Post 2000, Glenn has re-emerged as a songwriter/performer of real distinction.
3 in stock (can be backordered)