Monday, 15 September 2014

Jennifer Crook: Carnforth Station

Carnforth Station
Jennifer Crook
Earlier this year, we reported on the successful pledge music campaign that was set up to fund Jennifer Crook's new album. Now there is more good news; today sees the release of Carnforth Station. It's been over three years since Jennifer's last album, Merry-Go-Round, was released (we reviewed it here), so a sequel was definitely due.

Carnforth Station offers 11 brand new songs, all written by Jennifer.

Track List

Long Drive Back Home From Love
Carnforth Station
I've Forgotten Everything
Black Fly
The Net
One More Day
Angel in Disguise
Only the River
For You

The range of instruments allows plenty of scope for a fresh range of sounds, with the harp and accordion in particular standing out and giving the songs significant extra dimensions.


Jennifer Crook: Lead singing, harp, acoustic guitar, banjo
Beth Porter: Cello, fiddle, harmony singing
Mike Cosgrave: Acoustic guitar, accordion, harmony singing

Additional Personnel

Kevin Brown: Weissenborn, lap steel, electric guitar
Miranda Sykes: Double bass, harmony singing

Readers may already be familiar with the real Carnforth Station and its significance in the story of Brief Encounter, with its themes of broken love and journeys (of more than one type). Similar themes inform the songs of this new album, from the very start, with Long Drive Back Home From Love. It's a very strong opener, detailing the dual-level journey (geographical and emotional) away from an unsuccessful relationship.

The title track continues the theme, with its ''graveyard of trains'' and ''carriages carrying high expectations'' which are ''left out to rot in the rain.'' This is all very potent material and it will undoubtedly strike an emotional chord with the vast majority of listeners.

There are several divergences from the central themes along the way, including the medieval-like Apples and the tempo-lifting, Gospel-tinged I've Forgotten Everything, which could well provoke an audience sing-a-long when played live, evoking, as it does, When the Saints Go Marching In.

Black Fly is one of the album's highlights, offering a slice of darker folk with a mystical slant featuring a wise old man and a choice of paths to take. It's not so easy to banish fear in the darkness.

The album comes full circle with For You. This closing song returns to the theme of broken relationships but sees the subject concluding her journey - having emerged a much stronger person - with a sugar-coated poisoned message to her former partner, the sort of person who was always right, left to ''act like you don't care.''

Carnforth Station is, without any shadow of doubt, Jennifer's finest work to date. The new songs are all set to be fully unleashed during an imminent tour.

Head for Jennifer's official website for further details on Carnforth Station and her 2014 tour dates.

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