‘Home Is Where Your Heartlands’ from Navaro(October 20, 2011)
‘Home Is Where Your Heartlands’ from Navaro, the follow up to their inspired 2008 album ‘Under Diamond Skies’ has been a long time coming but it more than realises the expectation created by its forerunner. According to the band, ‘Home is Where Your Heartlands’ gestated during rehearsals for 'Under Diamond Skies' while sitting by candlelight in an old building and allowing its atmosphere and magic to flow into their music.
The result is an amalgam of three lead vocal styles and superb musicianship. There’s the familiar richness to each song, melodies to catch your ear, the cutting edge to the lyrics and vocals that reach deep into the soul – this is an album to listen to for a long time to let it flow into those places that move the fibre of your being.
It’s impractical to review every track but some of the gems include the potent effervescence of ’My Favourite One Night Stand’ and ‘Another Life’ complete with memorable melodies, sharp hooks and catchy vocals. The allure continues as songwriters Austin and White treat your ears to an exploration of their skill set from the gently beguiling ‘Slowdance’ through the resonating acquiescence of ‘This Time Will Pass’ and the soft questioning in ‘Blow’ to the lyrical hope inside ‘Back to Your Homeland’. There’s something scarily beautiful about ‘Walking With Ghosts’ and ‘A Life Without Dreams’ as Beth’s voice pulls you into their embrace. There’s the softness of ‘Shine’, while by contrast the palpable sadness of ‘Walk Away’ drives a hard message.
On ‘Home is Where Your Heartlands’ Navaro is Steve Austin (lead vocal, acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar, resonator guitar, bass) Pete White (lead vocal, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass) and Beth Navaro (lead vocal) together with Clive Batkin (bass, mandolin, electric guitar, harp-guitar, resonator guitar) and Will (drums, percussion).
Adding their talents to ‘Home is Where Your Heartlands’ are Gareth Turner (melodeon) Guy Fletcher (fiddle), Miles Gilderdale (electric guitar -‘Slow Dance’) and James McNair (bazouki on ‘Blow’) Mark Stevens (Hammond organ, drums, additional percussion, trumpet) and Freakanature: Shane Lamont, Mickey Englert, Will, Dave Baldwin and Emma on ‘Between The Lines’.
‘Home is Where Your Heartlands' offers 16 polished tracks plus five so-called ‘rough diamonds’ comprising live, demo and edit tracks, and the CD is due for release on 21 January 2012 from Leading Horse Records - www.lhrecords.co.uk - (LHREC01)
Reviewer: Tim Carroll