|Stephen Fretwell | CD review | 2005|
STEPHEN FRETWELL - Magpie (Fiction
Released shortly after he toured with Keane in late 2004, Magpie remained one of music's little-known gems until recent single Emily was picked up by virtually every radio station going. But while the single version of the track was impressive enough to generate new interest in Stephen, its album counterpart remains the definitive version; more sparse and more simple than the recent release it is, as a result, much more atmospheric and much more lovely.
Brooding introductory track Do You Want To Come With? recalls David Ford at his most world-weary, Rose is a spellbinding, swirling melodic epic in the vein of Duke Special's Freewheel and Run's infinite layers of piano and guitar make it one of the most gorgeous singles of recent years.
Although the less instant tracks take a little longer
to seep into your consciousness, Stephen's unmistakeably Northern voice
and wonderfully poetic lyrics are impossible to ignore. More a peacock
than a magpie, it's an album which, given enough time, will eventually
display its true depths, brilliant colours and stunning, hidden beauty.
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