RICHARD TOWNEND & FRIENDS
TAKE THE SUNSHINE
Richard Townend is a prolific songwriter and performer both as a solo artist and with his band The Mighty Boss Cats. This is the latest of his solo offerings and is another set of wonderfully crafted, well executed songs I don’t know where the inspiration comes from but I’m glad it does We kick off with Take The Sunshine, a song about what depression can feel like but its not all doom laden and depressing, it carries a gentle message of
encouragement Like all of the songs here its not only the lyrics that are well thought out and constructed but the music is too. Then its into the more upbeaf almost jaunty Time To Move On. Like all the very best singer
songwriters you wonder how much of the lyrics are based on personal experience and how much is observational, the important thing is as a listener Richard makes you connect with every song. Half A Dozen (of one, six of fhe other) is about the complexities of relationships and how they work. Shoes is perhaps my personal favourite and probably sums up the message throughout the album, ‘I’m not looking for sympathy, try being in my shoes forawhile CJam Blues is a lovely upbeat instrumental, with Richard Raymond, bass, James Digings, drums and Will Pollen, brass This leads to a great run of tracks to close proceedings, Down Down Down, a song about coming home and being alone, Pretence, a great observation on the hype and falseness of PR and spin all around us, and Man In The Moon, inspired by the folk story of a man made to live on the moon for commifting the blasphemous sin of
collecting firewood on a Sabbath, with a modern message. The final track is the lovely Troubled Mind, about the joy of being in a good healthy relationship that even manages to mention 50 Shades of Grey Richard modestly describes the album as Just a
collection of songs:’ i can’t help feeling I’ve been taken on a journey from how depression might feel to the pleasure of sharing your life with someone.
This is a grower of an album and I
can’t resist hifting play button again.
ALBUM : TAKE THE SUNSHINE
RELEASED : OCT 2012
Richard Townend Album: Take The Sunshine
Label: Self Released
It must be difficult being in Richard Townend's head some of the time, especially when he's in full creative mode. When a song comes to him it must be tricky deciding if it's going to be set aside for the solo albums or worked up with the boys in his band, The Mighty Boss Cats. True he's not alone in that multi project approach, but it's always struck me as being a slightly schizophrenic place to be."Take The Sunshine" is, I think Richard's third solo outing, and is probably the one that features the most relaxed sound. Compared to the earlier cuts it feels like he's got that whole retro, nightclub, jazz-blues sound absolutely nailed, giving the whole album a sophisticated, accomplished feel.This is one of those albums that has a groove running through it, like a message runs through a stick of rock, i.e. it doesn't affect the experience, but gives it a real sense of individuality. Townend settles into the sound in a very naturalistic way, there is nothing forced about the way the album comes across. The combination of vocals and swing feel right together. It's like you're given a choice, you can let the songs wash over you and simply relax to the sound or you can let the music pick you up like a double espresso. The great thing about "Take The Sunshine" is that both approaches work.This is one of those albums that it's difficult not to move with, there's always a beat that will get feet tapping, head nodding etc and that's not to say you've got an excuse to let the words go by. Townend has put together a great collection of songs, kick back and enjoy. Neil King