dinsdag 12 september 2017

Death Goldbloom. Tim Claridge

Some time before the holidays I received an email from two artists who are connected. Only for me personally and no one else. Both announced new work and I did not have the time to review either before I left. 'Undici' by Bongley Dead was reviewed last week. Now I'm making amends to Tim Claridge.

Those following this blog will have seen the name of this Vancouver, Canada based artist pop up in different guises. This is the first time under his own name. The album is named after his former (?) band. Just to confuse the world some more.

Death Goldbloom is different from what Claridge has released before. The album is basically a solo effort. Tim Claridge, an acoustic guitar and some keyboards, not necessarily unpowered. An electric guitar does show up here and there. This creates a solemn album. Now that is nothing new. All his albums are solemn. What is new is that he can totally convince in such a bare environment.

First there is his voice. Here is a singer, with a capitol S who can vary easily between his higher and lower register. Secondly there is the guitar meister. This man can play guitar in different styles in a great and majestic way. Thirdly Tim Claridge writes great songs, blues infused, with hellhounds on his tail. Darkness and the devil are never far away. Finally the combination of the three spells talented.

When some slide guitar enters the whole thing goes up one notch further. I can imagine Mark Lanegan sing 'Long Time Comin'' one of these days. Now that would be a great way to get Tim's name out there. Chris Isaak might be a candidate for 'Placebo Diablo'.

From this blues we move into some Spanish guitar playing. Now 'Buddhist Casanova' is not something I would have expected to hear on this album. Behind the classical guitar a slide guitar is played, putting things a bit askew. I'm not sure this combination works though.

Death Goldbloom is an album that is top-heavy. I have to admit that I seldom listen to it in one go. When I hear a song like 'Blue Dream' though I am totally back to where I should be with Death Goldbloom. In a day and age where albums do not seem to matter any more for most people this problem is taken away for them. For me, an oldfashioned album appreciator, it is not. This does not mean that I look upon Death Goldbloom negatively. Far from even.

The darkness in several songs is totally convincing. Claridge must be a man who likes to work in the darkness and let that time of the day inspire him. If you listen to 'Torn Apart' I can feel a coldness creeping up on me. And at the same time in my mind I can hear him sing this song with Natalie Ramsay, giving the song a totally different atmosphere as the light and shade would have been balanced. The quality of the song shows that it doesn't take a lot to create a great, impressive song. A voice and an electric guitar, played with total reticence.

As I wrote, it takes patience to find the quality of the songs further on in the album. It pays off though. Tim Claridge's new album contains a whole bunch of great songs. Go over and listen for yourself. And pay something before you download. An artist has to live in order to produce great songs like this.


You can (listen to and) buy Death Goldbloom for your preferred price here:


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