Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
All that is fire turns to ash eventually, the passion of misspent youth, the heat of reckless middle age, the slowing embers of love in mature grandeur, all set free on the wings of steam and the memory of what was once the most desired thing in the world, to be loved and to care for with equal ferocity; all this eventually is the Bonfire To Ash, the cinders which inspires the phoenix to rise one last time.
It is in the action of the phoenix that the world understands that life must go on, that the resurrection of perpetual love is what keeps humanity’s hopes alive and for Porter Nickerson, the wonderful duo of Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson, the lush sweet sounds and intoxicating vocals sum up all of love’s highs and lows, the desperate days and the magnificent awareness that comes with love, that comes with letting your heart go where it must.
The album is tender, as intimate as the first kiss between lovers under a moonlit sky and the sound of waves lopping gently onto the still warm sand, it is the sound of affection in a lover’s final serenade before they find their eye wandering and the full blown argument to which some find absorbing but somehow feels deluded unless it is driven out of passion and not the sham of jealousy.
Bonfire To Ash is a dialogue, a conversation that you have with the one you perhaps need, the one you should love or the one that finds their way into your mind every day and in songs such as Earthquake, If You Stay, Echo of Love and Plant A Garden, the affection is there, undaunted, unaffected by Time but one that needs careful attention, for in any storm the seed sown can be taken out of the nurturing Earth and tossed aside into the weeds, the nettles and the briar patch of someone else’s charms.
A wonderful album in which love is explored and discovered, the fatal charms of the strong carry with it much ardour in between the tracks and the final sweet kiss goodbye is as alluring as the first kiss hello. Bonfire To Ash, a set of songs in which the fire never goes out.
Ian D. Hall