The Imagined Village – Bending the Dark
Hmmm. 6 down “ A mixture of two or more styles resulting in success or failure” 6 letters?
Of course “FUSION”.
4 across : “Lost in a sea of ? ” 11 letters?
Ahh, yes, “uncertainty”.
And that is how I feel about Bending the Dark, the third album by the multi talented folk supergroup that is The Imagined Village. Awash with sitars and ambience, earnest vocals and folk grooves, there is no reason why Bending the Dark should not be a stunning album.
It probably is but for me there is a little touch of magic missing. Having said that, right time, right place, this could be terrific. Superbly mixed played and sung by some of our finest roots musicians so what is not to like?
Originally, the concept of making English Folk relevant to the 21st century worked really well for two albums but the direction has become muddy on the “difficult” third and we are no longer worrying about “Hard Times in Old England” and seem more concerned in feathering the record companies nest? I mean, Slade’s ‘Come On Feel the Noise’ (in Empire of Love). What were they thinking?
The fusion element is prominent with beats and world rhythms dropped in alongside the grizzled vocals of Chris Woods and Martin Carthy and sometimes this seems to work and at other times seems laboured. I have a great deal of time for this project but this third record just lacks that special ingredient that grabs you. Perhaps the fact that the “villagers” set themselves such a high standard has been a stumbling block for them. Still, I bet they are amazing live on sunny afternoon with a pint of real ale at Scarborough Fair or the like!
1 across: “almost but not quite ?” 6 letters.