‘Reclaimed’ from Adrian Roye and the Exiles – liquid music on the mellow side(July 29, 2013)
This year there’s one album you really should hear, it’s called ‘Reclaimed’ from Adrian Roye and the Exiles. They describe their blend of Afro-Caribbean inspired, British folk influenced, Americana tinged music ‘Afro-Folk’ - be that as it may, this is an album of considerable achievement musically and lyrically. It has an all-encompassing feel of mellow, laid-back reflection and examination of people, places and experiences with a measured touch of inquisitive exploration to add piquancy.
Listening to ‘Reclaimed’ is a tranquil experience, the music is so smooth and soulful it has a liquid feel; turn up the sound and you can almost feel it flowing around the room. It is more a ‘complete’ album than a collection of songs, any join between the tracks being almost imperceptible. What strikes most about the faintly melancholic opening track, ‘Plastic Bag Goldfish’ is Adrian’s voice and the combined, high-quality musical talent of the Exiles. There's exquisite harmonies on ‘Cold War’ with percussion and cello-driven chanting, while ‘Fear Of Phantoms’ provides a reggae-bass grove behind questing vocals and strong-message lyrics. There’s a sublime simplicity to ‘Pebbles & Stones’ as Adrian’s voice perfectly conveys the depth of its emotion, repeated through the troubled significance of ‘Where Are The Roses’. This man delivers vocals that rivet your attention. Add some stunning harmonies to the mix, the subtle flair of the musicians and you will definitely remember Adrian Roye and the Exiles.
Encountering ‘Reclaimed’ is a multi-layered, complex meeting. You can take it at face value or dig deep into its manifold influences and expressions, and the more you do the more you will enjoy ‘Reclaimed’.
Reviewer: Dan Holland