Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Humanity is at a tipping point; its ability to interact with each other, share ideals and ideas is on the verge of being only able to communicated via a short snappy message or intolerant, perhaps indecipherable text. As a species we have never been so connected, the whole world waits for the next communiqué with baited breath, yet we somehow have become lonely, lost and isolated in a sea of electronics and the floundering realisation that something drastically has gone wrong with society. It might take a generation to solve but somehow we need to be seen to be Breaking The Spell Of Loneliness.
It is a message that Ewan McLennan and journalist George Monbiot are keen to debate, to offer their invaluable insight to, in an album stuffed with songs that deal with the ever increasing the epidemic as they call it that comes with living in your own bubble, in your own world and forgetting that society exists because we need it to as a species; without society, without being able to hold someone’s hand, we are ultimately doomed to extinction.
A project that came out of an article penned by Mr. Monbiot, Breaking The Spell Of Loneliness is an album that seems to offer two paths, two reasonable choices in how to deal with the epidemic and the music that sets the seal on the process highlights the option perfectly with its use of the melancholic shadowing the potential single heartbeat; it is that melancholy, that the sadness of humanity’s situation becomes abundantly clear.
In tracks such as Such A Thing As Society, Reclaim The Street, Unknown Lament and the softly spoken traditional hymn like prose of We Shall Overcome, the action that is needed is spelled out, the drastic change in perspective hammered home and the reason that we have become so inclined to keep out of the reach of others postulated; ultimately each person offering their own hypothesis on where we go from this point on is firmly up for debate.
Loneliness is a killer, it seeps into the bones and makes each person believe they are worthless, incomplete, yet we have, as Ewan McLennan and t George Monbiot are at pains to point out, the jailers of our own incarceration.
A terrifically moving album, Breaking The Spell Of Loneliness is a social commentary which needs to be heard and taken with every ounce of strength available.
Ian D. Hall