To start with: if you like folky prog, this is a must buy! This is one of the best albums in the genre ever.
A second album, after a brilliant first one, is always difficult for a band. And the first album by Kaprekar's Constant, titled Fate Outsmarts Desire (2017, see review), was very high on the year lists of a lot of reviewers. Well, in my humble opinion this album will be even higher on those lists. I wish I could give it more than five stars.
What makes the album so good? First of all the songwriting. The compositions and arrangements are amazing, but Nick Jefferson, Al Nicholson and Mike Westergaard really dig in the English history to come up with beautiful lyrics. Pure poetry. I mean, who else writes sentences like 'Rosherville: welcome to Rosherville. Baron Nathan says he'll dance the hornpipe on eggs' ? Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull maybe? Yes that one, and he was asked by the band to read a poem in Rosherville part 2. Which he did.
Lots of research went into the writing of this album. Rosherville part 1&2 is about Rosherville gardens. You feel you're there and you're guided through the gardens by the soft voice of Bill Jefferson who is the ultimate male singer for this music. It seems impossible, but then that beautiful voice of Dorie Jackson brings the song to an even higher level. Let's not forget the flutes and saxes by the legend that is David Jackson and all that supported by the fabulous musicianship of Mike Westergaard (keyboards), Al Nicholson (guitars and mandolin) and Nick Jefferson (bass). New drummer Mark Walker (also Caravan) is absolutely the right man on the right place.
There are a few epic long songs on this album. Not only Rosherville part 1 & 2 that clock 20 minutes together but also Ghostplanes about the VI attacks on London in the second world war and the magnificent White Star's Sunrise. This 23 minute song about the company behind the sisterships Titanic and Britannic is divided in four parts of pure beauty.
But hey, there is no weak song on this album. The shorter songs Holywell Street, The Nigthwatchman and Depth Of Field are absolute gems. The album has an very 'warm' sound and the production, mixing and mastering is top notch.
Kaprekar's Constant delivered a great sounding masterpiece that brings them to the very top in this genre. A big big achievement!!
***** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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