Rosie Hood, The Beautiful & The Actual. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

We all want to believe the beautiful, we have to have relish the sense of the impressive, a moment in our lives when the delightful outweighs the truth, even if it is for the smallest and briefest of time, before the colour that had been painted with vivid and exciting colours turns to monochrome and the images are left startled by their own fading glory. It is in this we see the difference between what we see and what actually occurs and so rarely do the two states, The Beautiful & The Actual, coexist.

Rosie Hood’s first full length album sees the accomplished folk singer from Wiltshire take on the works collected by Alfred Williams and intermingle them with her own passionate take on the traditional songs, as well as offering her own worded compositions and unashamed thoughts alongside her renditions of the past.

It is in the beautiful that we take heart, we see hope for all its glory and possible futures, in the actual we take steed in the reality, we steel ourselves for what may come and the possible job of repair that needs to be undertaken; these two states of mind fight for supremacy in our heads, the brain taking sides between the pragmatist and the hopeful poet, for Rosie Hood to capture them in the heart of an album full of songs is to see the energy harnessed and utilised with amazing skill.

The voice, always a tool for the good when used properly, is articulate as it is bountiful as Ms. Hood takes on songs such as William’s Sweetheart, the exceptional Dorothy Lawrence, The Little Blind Girl, the stunning The Hills of Kandahar and the resolute Undaunted Female, whether in the form of the traditional Wiltshire mood, the hope of the moonrakers near the Salisbury Plain or in her own passionate words, Rosie Hood is to be heard and seen with glory, with respect.

A truly courageous album that rises up and seizes control, that hands memory to the listener and seeks only the reward of accomplishment; to listen to Rosie Hood is to immerse yourself in that memory and be grateful that you lived in a time when The Beautiful & The Actual have never been more relevant.

Ian D. Hall