Birch Book - Fortune & Folly (2006)
MP3 VBR 198 kbps avg. | Time: 45'46'' | 66 MB RAR (5% RR)
Rock, Folk, Neofolk, Acoustic
B'eirth has been busy. Only about a year after the release of Birch Book's debut album, he presents his second one. Those who've heard the first album probably know what to expect, as will those who bought the live EP Tangles of the Vine. Birch Book looks to be B'ee's outlet for singer/songwriter and americana feelings, and we're not disappointed here. "New Song", "Young Souls", "New Joy", they're all examplary of his newfound relaxed vibe. That also includes the new track "Whisper in the Pine", one of his finest yet when it comes to this country-like style.
But B'ee is always full of surprises. The mysterious intro "Birch Sap" should have tipped me off that something different was coming. Defying my expectations, he delivers tracks like "Diaspora" and "Zephyr through Willows": dark, misty songs that call to mind Marissa Nadler's gloomy style.
The theme of the album - as expressed by the Tarot images of The Wheel of Fortune and The Fool - is the spirit of wandering. Of packing up your stuff, leaving everything behind and setting out into an unknown future. This is displayed quite powerfully in "The Trip Goes On", which ends in manipulated distortion, and a minute of near-silence. As if the whole album is a preamble to "The Carnival is Empty". It might as well be, for this track alone makes the album more than worthwhile. Like in that other marvellous song, Dead Can Dance's "The Carnival Is Over", carnivals seem to lend themselves best to songs when empty, dead, gone and over (remember Current 93's "The Carnival is Dead and Gone"?). Never mind the lyrical parallels. This song is a breathtakingly beautiful, melancholic conclusion of this album's theme. B'ee shows himself from a totally new side and proves at the same time that he keeps growing as an artist.
This is a brilliant album, and one of this year's highlights for all lovers of folk music in the broadest sense. Obviously, it's a must have for everyone who likes In Gowan Ring or Birch Book. B'eirth is truly one of the greatest songsmiths of our days.
(Evening Of Light, O.S.)
01. Birch Sap
02. New Song
03. Whisper In The Pine
04. Young Souls
05. New Joy
07. The Wandering Boy
08. Zephyr Through Willows
09. The Trip Goes On
10. The Carnival Is Empty
11. Birch Sap
Click above track 6, 10 for album sampler.