By Alan Cackett
Lulling melodies and contemplative lyrics brewing with restrained emotion.
This second Ruth Moody album almost slipped through the net. Though it came out last spring, we couldn’t resist belatedly bringing it to your attention. This Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was a founding member of The Wailin Jennys prior to stepping out as a popular solo performer with regular UK tours under her belt. THESE WILDER THINGS is an album that is lyrically rich, thematically and musically cohesive. The songs delve into weighty issues ranging from love lost to love found and occasionally love in transit. So we’re not exactly breaking new ground here. But the musical arrangements and the notable maturity in her lyrics and worldly warmth of her vocal reflect the growth that she continually strives to attain.
The opening banjo-infused Trouble And Woe prepares the listener for some of the dark themes here, but even though a song like Life Is Long is all about loss, the haunting Celtic arrangement and Ruth’s heartfelt vocal is quite optimistic for the future. Much has been made of her impassioned version of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark – and it is rather exceptional – but we should not allow that one outstanding song to detract from Ruth’s own folk flavoured stories and still life glimpses written and sung in plain English. Ruth’s clear sweet voice has a conversational quality that is perfect for getting her lyrics across, with comes through magnificently with Trees For Skies as she beautifully delves into the positive side of love and longing. An irresistible listening experience that you’ll keep listening to.