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Saturday, 22nd July 2017
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Lisa Knapp - Hidden Seam

Lisa Knapp Hidden SeamThe opening track of an album can be a full blown statement of intent.  Or at other times it's the number that eases you in, with the meat to arrive later.  Shipping Song, which introduces Hidden Seam, the new release from Lisa Knapp is something else.  It's a collection of sounds rather than a song, and five minutes of your life that you won't get back.  Apparently, it was written, if that's the right word, due to a fascination with the shipping forecast.  Not that you'd know if it wasn't in the accompanying PR leaflet.

Following on from this is the title track, which does appear to have a tune lurking amongst the whale noises.  But two minutes from the end it dissolves into a cacophony of grunts, squeaks and sighs that make you wonder if Ms Knapp is on the end of an enthusiastic rogering.  At this point your reviewer was thinking of alternative uses for a cd.  Like a coaster, or even better a frisbee.  At least you could throw the damn thing away then.

Redemption for this nonsense arrives late with Hunt the Hare Part II featuring Scottish musician Alasdair Robert and originally based on the Irish song Rocky Road to Dublin.  It starts off Celtic and morphs more into Applachian as mid point is reached.   Good stuff, and one of the few points where the lyrics are distinguishable, but by now we're at track eight of nine.

Earlier, Two Ravens, with Martin Carthy guesting had given hope, but the hook which kicks in as the song gathers pace has a plodding arrangement to work against and ultimately it's a disappointment.  But then that's one of the problems that runs throughout.  There's never a gathering of momentum.

Overall, Hidden Seam is forgettable.  It's an album oddly lacking in warmth, with insufficient substance and a lot of frilly window dressing to plug the gaps.

- Les Pilling

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Lisa Knapp






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