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Savoy Grand - People And What They Want

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 26 / 3 / 2005



Savoy Grand - People And What They Want
Label: Glitterhouse Records
Format: CD

intro

Breathtaking beautiful, but unnecessarily over drawn new album from long-serving Nottingham lo-fi rockers Savoy Grand


Formed in 1997 and led by singer-songwriter Graham Langley, Savoy Grand now present us, after last years ‘Lost Horizon’ EP and 2001’s ‘Burn The Furniture’ album, with another 8 songs of lo-fi, understated and breathtakingly beautiful music. Understated is, frankly, something of an understatement. This is slow, atmospheric music which while having structure does need constant attention to gain the most out of it. The first song, ‘Took’ which with Langley’s almost whispered yet still passionate vocals is achingly sad, is nine minutes plus of just that voice and Langley’s guitar with the minimum of ghostly echoes of either keyboards or violin to flesh out the sound here and there. It’s a shame Langley doesn’t allow his lyrics to be printed on the CD inlay. Although they are easy enough to decipher and are not buried in the mix like so many vocals are with music as minimalist as this, there is, at times, such a long pause between the vocals when the music takes over and transports you elsewhere that it’s easy to loose track of what Langley was singing before. But any album that opens with a heartbroken voice singing “ You took a face from a magazine, you thought it could be you, you took a ring on a finger to be, you took it to be love” over such beautiful guitar lines, certainly makes one want to hear more. If there is a problem with this album it’s that although only 8 songs long the album plays for nearly 70 minutes and it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. That the last 5 minutes or so on the album are basically a long unnecessary drawn out finale to what would otherwise be the strongest song on offer, ‘Recovery Positions’ proves the point. Changing direction a little but not pace and with bass and, drums and some neat percussion effects creating a captivating sound the song is a standout; the guitar sounding like a very subdued Crazy Horse if such a thing could exist, but that ending while maybe giving Langley some satisfaction, does little for the listener. Once that glorious guitar fades so does the interest unfortunately. Do we really need to listen to a melancholy lo-fi ‘Weld’? It’s understandable that Langley feels that the songs need to take their own path and end naturally but sometimes the listener grows weary before reaching the end of that path. With some editing the album would have made it into the CD player much more often, for those lonely, introspective moments nothing comes close to it just now, and it’s certainly a ‘grower’, there’s more to discover and love with each play but maybe 'NME' had it right when they wrote as far back as 1999 about the group's debut single; it missed being single of the week because the weather was too sunny just then. With spring finally giving way to sunnier and brighter days the timing of this release might just be a couple of months late. But if the girlfriend has walked out, the cat’s decided that it didn’t have nine lives after all, the milk is off, the rent is overdue by three months and it’s 2.30 in the morning then listening to this album by Savoy Grand on the headphones will probably be the best thing you could do.



Track Listing:-
1 Took
2 Change Is An Engine
3 It Fell Apart
4 Last Word Before Sleep
5 Ending Up
6 I Have The Answers
7 Spike
8 Recovery Positions


Label Links:-
http://label.glitterhouse.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GlitterhouseRecords
https://twitter.com/glitterhouserec
https://www.youtube.com/user/GlitterhouseTV



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The Lost Horizon (2004)
Masterly new EP from Nottingham group, Savoy Grand, who have created "an almost epic stateliness" out of almost nothing on this latest offering


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