Take a spin with Graham's choice album reviews

Clive John


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Life is the third album release by Worcestershire singer/songwriter Clive John. 13 soul-searching songs all composed by Clive, sees what I feel to be his best recording to date. Well-crafted lyrics, stylistic instrumentals and arrangements make Life a captivating collection.

Life is just what this album is all about, Life's ups and downs, Life's mysteries and Life's disappointments can all be found within this captivating album. With a jaunty beat 'All My Life' projects to the missing you theme, where life now leaves so very little to offer. 'One-Way Ticket' takes us on a one-direction ride with a country rock edge. The gentle relaxing style of 'Wait Until Tomorrow', with Clive singing wistfully over a backing of flute and soft drumbeat offers a passionate love mantra.

The soulful 'Lament', with its richly textured piano and acoustic guitar backing, pricks at the ears, bewitching the mind with intoxication as it carries us away in a dream like haze. With Clive's ringing mandolin, 'The Trouble Is' looks at how everyone wants the perfect life in this imperfect world that is ever turning upside down. Clive is a keen interpreter of the jagged emotional landscape and with a glint of morning light he quietly coaxes Life into the kaleidoscope of dreams that can soon turn sour. 'The Wolves Cry' is totally absorbing as it searches deep into your heart and soul as Life's uncertainties swirl round and around your mind.

All too soon the tender 'Love Heroin' brings this cauldron of magical lyrics to an end. Clive John's warm and energetic vocals ups the ante as Life communicates to the listener with a touch of personal relationships, apprehension and distrust of the future. Clive John commands the fullness of the heart, as he dispels the demons that linger in the corners of our minds and with a rare feeling for a song he serves up an album of quality and polish.