‘Those Precious Things’ from singer-songwriter Arthur Wilson(March 16, 2013)
It’s tough for ‘unknown’ singer-songwriters to offer up their work for review. Often, they've no benchmark apart from the support of an immediate group of admirers, some musician-friends or the memory of applause from local clubs. Then again, sometimes there’s the faith that what they have is worth sharing and will stand up to scrutiny.
Singer-songwriter Arthur Wilson (no not the Home Guard sergeant - I bet he hates that) who cut his musical teeth gigging around the workingmen’s clubs of Central Scotland ... not the easiest route for an artist to take ... has offered his first album ‘Those Precious Things' for review. And for a debut album it’s not bad, in fact it’s far better than many. What you get is melodic, Americana-tinged, acoustic-led folk-pop. First, you notice the voice, it’s not Roy Orbison but Arthur's is pretty close and has an instant attraction that carries the songs. And the songs themselves? Three-minute plus emotive tracks complete with catchy hooks.
The album opens with ‘Meet Me By The Big Wheel’, an appealing number with genuine depth and fine guitar breaks. From the opening snap on the drums, ‘I Just Want To Be With You’ delivers a touch of early-70’s reggae with keyboard, guitar and percussion pitching in to achieve the 'right' sound. ‘Pure Vodka Tears’ encapsulates Arthur’s club-land experience and it’s a keen observation on the audiences he encountered on his journey. Although it lyric comes across as a touch sugar-sweet, ‘The Way You Love Me Is Everything’ is one of those songs with all the elements in the right place (I could hear Orbison singing this one) and taken together it simply ‘just works’.There’s something almost private about ‘Always Here for You’ – voice, acoustic guitar and cello ‘up close and personal’ placing them in the room with you, even down to the Auld Lang Syne sample at the end.
So what’s the verdict? Definitely worth a listen.
Alongside Arthur (songs, vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica) on ‘Those Precious Things’ are Margo Falconer (backing vocals) Stuart Wilson (lead guitar) Chris Day (lead guitar, mandolin) Iain McNeill (bass guitar) Duncan Smith (drums) Peter Higgins (keyboards) and George Logan (percussion) with Colin Findlay (string arrangements).
Reviewer: Dan Holland