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Love and Loss review

Discussion in 'Press and Media' started by SteveT, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. SteveT

    SteveT Gracing the Bahamas in see through pyjamas

    From the New Zealand Herald online 07/12/11:

    English folk-rocker Harper - now 70 - is much eulogised by senior British rock critics and has latterly been hailed by the neo-folk movement (Fleet Foxes, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom). Led Zep acknowledged him with Hats Off To Harper (on Led Zeppelin III) and he sang on Have a Cigar, on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Schooled equally in US acoustic blues and Anglofolk, Harper assimilated Romantic poetry and odd tunings into his style and although considered part of the British folk scene alongside Nick Drake, John Martyn, Bert Jansch and Davey Graham, he was a man apart for his lyrically expansive songs and often enormously busy, angular finger-picking. He also brought in electric guitar, strings and a jazz-like direction.

    This double-disc collection is the ideal, if sometimes difficult, introduction to Harper for the neo-folk generation who might stumble at times over his complex guitar work (he's no thumb 'n' strum player) and his angular approach to lyrics and a melody. For example Girlie here is a four-minute psychedelic journey, although is tempered by his straight bat to the traditional North Country and the delightfully gentle Davey (for Graham) and Another Day. From politics (South Africa) to Hallucinating Light, Harper never underestimates your intelligence or concentration span.

    Stars: 4.5/5
    Verdict: An old cricketer back at the crease for a valedictory innings
  2. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier


    Angular? Definitions vary...


    I would imagine all guitarist's fingers play angularly? Or is he implying/alluding something else from the other meanings? :>

    Less of the valedictory..I'm seeing Roy at his 80th, 90th and hope he gets that birthday telegram text from the Queen!


    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  3. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Men are OBTUSE, Women are ACUTE

    Curious, Andy.

    I never thought of describing fingering (with the left hand I presume, i.e. up on the frets) as "angular." I do notice experienced guitarists play sometimes with their fingers "arched" over the strings so they tend to look straight, and other times they play with fingers closer to the strings "reaching" for the frets/strings at about a 45 degree ANGLE to the frets and strings.

    I think "We" (you and me at least, Andi) play whatever way works the best. I know I tend to play the same notes in the same place, where I think you are freer in your playing style then me (based upon what you posted a year or so ago). Once we play something automatically, I think its more natural to play many passages in a more relaxed "angular" fashion.

    Anyway, my guess "angular" usually indicates experience, comfort, familiarity, confidence... (unless it sounds "sloppy," then it's just "lazy")

    I'm curious for your opinions, Andi. Does anyone else have any comments?

    (Please, please...)
  4. Johnbarkeriom

    Johnbarkeriom Computer stained fingers

    Normally I would think of of angular as referring to timing rather than physical position. More staccato than legato. But I wouldn't characterise Roy's playing in this way. As the reviewer also talks about 'angular' lyrics I suspect he's just talking b•••••••! ;)
  5. Johnbarkeriom

    Johnbarkeriom Computer stained fingers

    not sure what happened there - didn't type such a strange ending to the sentence but never mind, it sort of says what I meant :wink:
  6. scotpaulabear

    scotpaulabear Halfway up my own guitar, propping up another bar

    Well said sir :D
  7. Nigels

    Nigels Computer stained fingers

    I'd interpret angular as "not straight". Roy Deconstructs the components of a song and re-assembles them in a highly individualistic way. Think of a painting by Picasso. You know what it is and you know what it represents, but the elements are put together in a way that demands attention.
    I also think this results in a lot of playing "off the beat" in Roy's songs. All this serves to add weight to phrases in the songs to help get the message across.
    Waffle over.
  8. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier


    I think you may be right...coming from a different angle with his poetry/art and not the way he plucks the strings...now that would make a good promo review! Picasso on the guitar! Beats the 'English Bob Dylan'. And Nick as well...


    ps Will try and email the NZ guy and ask him what he's about. I'd imagine our Aussie friends on here could track him down and tie his kangaroo. Phps Steve T has moved from Southsea to the South seas?
  9. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

  10. SHAUN I

    SHAUN I It's so clear on the wings of the dawn

    The link you posted just takes me to the hotmail page Andi.
  11. SHAUN I

    SHAUN I It's so clear on the wings of the dawn

    Did you mean to post this Andi?
  12. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier


    No, but it's nice to see Roy is causing sonic earthquakes in NZ!
    Will retype the email I got later; when I get back from work in the freezing cold!

  13. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    Email recd..

    Here is the email I got from Graham Reid :

    Hiya from NZ Andrew

    Re : Angular

    This is a common enough term in music reviewing in my experience and means an artist doesn't play a straight bat to things [melody,lyrics] but comes from a different angle/perspective.

    eg I think we could say Philip Glass's minimalism, or The Beatles 'I want to hold your hand' are anything but angular; but the lyrics of The Incredible String Band or the piano playing of the Ionious monk and Cecil Taylor are certainly angular

    It is a compliment.

    Cheers and thanks for reading and taking time to comment


    [I have lots of music, art writing,essays etc. at my extensive website - see link below. I have many UK subscribers after a nice notice by Fred Dellar in Mojo about a year or so ago


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