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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Plunkett – “Folk Songs” (2008): The “melodic castaway alliance”
Review by Luis DB - Islas de Robinson - RNE Radio 3 - Spain
version en espanol

… Night falls, fire is crackling in the chimney; on the table a large loaf of good bread and a bottle of encouraging wine.. Conversation and real songs… Life is just and instant and this is our music..

Plunkett are Ian Plunkett and Lara Bartocci, two “melodic Robinsons” of brave and independent attitude. Their inspiring and necessary songs fill us with enthusiasm and somehow evoke on their present manner the great style and sensibility of another favourite and great couple: Richard and Linda Thompson.

“Folk Songs”, Plunkett’s second album is an “important” work. A record of simple appearance and direct delivery, which hides much more that what can be tasted at first glance.

This is a “handmade” work, conceived with care, devotion, time and intentions. In the same way, “Folk Songs” demands these same attentions, patience and great care to the listener. You have to submerge deeply into the songs –with free mind, soul and ears- so they can reveal all their magic, all the cosmic splendour. After a couple of thoughtful listenings the melodies start to catch on you and you can’t stop following the accurate lyrics of each song. From that moment the spell begins to reveal infinite details, turns, sensations and a sensibility that one only finds on those important albums capable of changing us somehow and leaving their mark. These records will always accompany us.

Ian and Lara give their story and vision through honest songs, with a style that reminds that of the marvellous Richard and Linda Thompson albums during the 70’s. As it used to happen with that legendary couple, the girl’s voice and spirit –Lara’s in this case- fits marvellously and it’s so good to the attractive but painful depth of the boy –Ian-.

Musically talking, here we find also that powerful and folkie rock of current sound (Richard and Linda’s records also had a “modern” sound at their time); an intense and conclusive production, full of dreamy and fragile atmospheres but also electrifying, joyful and even playful and a bit psychedelic.

“Folk Songs” is a record produced with passion and joy. That’s why it sounds so beautiful, powerful and amusing. The songs flow among atmospheres of every colour, drenched in a feast of terrific electric and acoustic guitars and gorgeous voices… Sparks here and there of Pink Floyd; John Cale; Nick Drake; Bevis Frond; Paul Weller, The Negro Problem, Wondermints, Smog… Yes, it’s that good!

Earthy verses and floating choruses. Ian’s voice is low, profound; it leads us through a particular –but familiar to many of us- chronicle of the fleeting and superficial times we are living. His look is sometimes ironic, fiery and implacable; other times, tender and encouraging… Always sincere and necessary… A voice and vision that find the ideal complement in Lara’s voice, luminous and cheerful. When both ways converge and join in one, is time for letting the mind fly away, full of enthusiasm and good vibrations… The touching magic of Plunkett’s “folk songs” has been granted to us… It’s the time of the “castaway alliance”, of fighting apathy sharing true songs and inspiring melodies that tell our little story… I said it at the beginning: “Folk Songs” is an important record.

Review by Luis DB - Islas de Robinson - RNE Radio 3 - Spain

read the original spanish version of this review > version en espanol

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