Explorer

Explorer

by Cerys Matthews
     
 

Almost a full decade after Catatonia went their separate ways, former ladette Cerys Matthews' reinvention as an otherworldly folk chanteuse has been pulled off so effortlessly that the fact her fifth solo record, Explorer, is a multilingual musical travelogue inspired by songs from several centuries ago doesn't even raise an eyebrow.…  See more details below

Overview

Almost a full decade after Catatonia went their separate ways, former ladette Cerys Matthews' reinvention as an otherworldly folk chanteuse has been pulled off so effortlessly that the fact her fifth solo record, Explorer, is a multilingual musical travelogue inspired by songs from several centuries ago doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Following her double whammy of albums performed in her native Welsh tongue (Paid Edrych I Lawr, Tir), her third release through her own Rainbow City Records label is a slightly more exotic affair, taking in the sounds of North America and Spain while still firmly paying homage to the traditional music of her homeland. While her renditions of Robert Burns' 18th century love song "Ca' the Yowes" and sea shanties "Harbwr Corc" and "Connemara Cradle Song" remain faithful to the originals, Matthews bravely puts her own spin on the other three covers, adding Chinese temple blocks to Welsh folk ballad "Yr Eneth Gadd Ei Wrthod," transforming Afro-American spiritual favorite "Wade into the Water" into a haunting and slightly gothic number (aided by the harp-playing skills and ethereal vocals of Serafina Steer), and upping the tempo on the Spanish-sung "La Tarara" thanks to some infectious castanet rhythms and frantically strummed flamenco guitars. It's a credit to Matthews' songwriting skills that the seven original compositions appear just as timeless, taking in twanging Americana on the fabulously titled "How Can You Say So Little When You Talk So Much," gorgeous pastoral folk on "Sweet Magnolia," and vintage lounge-pop on "Who Fears the Garden, Fears Life," all of which highlight just how much her previous whiskey-soaked tones have mellowed since her Brit-pop heyday. With its slightly avant-garde approach, Matthews seems content to drift even further away from the mainstream, but thanks to its inherent charm and enchanting production, her loyal BBC 6 Music following should enjoy the journey.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2011
Label:
Ais
UPC:
0666017237923
catalogNumber:
1723792

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