Sparrow and the Workshop – Crystals Fall
It’s understandable that Sparrow and the Workshop want their best songs to adorn what is absolutely, definitely their debut album this time around. Therefore Crystals Fall comes largely pieced together from the transatlantic trio’s previous two EPs. That it's all been given a new sheen is neither for better or worse; all round favourite Devil Song loses its ghostly vocal reverb, but allows its Morricone riff to punch through more satisfyingly.
Bolstered by three new songs, cut from the same rugged cloth, ardent fans may find this just enough to warrant reinvestment, whilst more casual listeners may feel short-changed. For newcomers, and the Sparrow deserves a few, it’s all a moot point as Crystals Fall is a splendid document of timeless alt-country with bite that never once flails or flags. When singer Jill O’Sullivan admits she’s “lost in country” – whatever your vantage point – you’ll be right there beside her. [Darren Carle]