Maddy Prior:
Flesh & Blood

I have been listening to Maddy's new CD, Flesh and Blood for three weeks now and I still do not tire of it. I seriously believe it is the best thing Maddy has done for years. To me her voice sounds back to its best (as evidenced by her recent tour), the production is so fresh and the songs are get better the more I here them.
        The tracks are:

      Sheath and Knife - an incest ballad which builds to a terrific climax with Nick Holland's keyboards and Troy Donockley's cittern (listen out for the laugh right at the end);
      Rolling English Road - based on a G K Chesterton poem, this has been transformed into a powerful song. The combination of haunting drums, powerful electric guitar work and delicate piano work so well;
      Honest Work/Finlandia - a Todd Rundgren song about unemployment sung by Maddy with such feeling, backed by hamonies from Nick and Troy, all unaccompanied leads into a pipe tune which still sends shivers down my neck when I hear it;
      Hind Horn - another ballad but given to me what seems a lighter touch;
      Bitter Withy - a song with which puts an unusual slant on the story of Jesus of a boy. I do ike this song but for me it's the weakest one one the CD;
      Who Am I - can you solve the riddle ? It's a haunting song about a North of England tradition;
      The Cruel Mother - as described on the sleeve " a portrait of sex, reproduction and death", this is emotive stuff, powerfully sung with that electric guitar starring again;
      Boy On A Horse - this has such a strong melody and the percussion by Terl Briant works so well on this;
      Jade - this is such a beautiful song, the piano and acoustic guitar sound so good here with maddy's voice;
      Brother Lawrence - another strong melodic song with a story to tell;
      The Laugh and The Kiss - I just love this song;
      The Point - "This is the point. Infinity. The last note" Probably the shortest track you have ever heard;
      Heart Of Stone - what can I say about this. A brilliant new song form Rick Kemp great tune, clever words, wonderfully sung and those pipes and whistles. Just my favourite on the CD.

Charles Gilbert