Various Artists - Ballads Of The Book

Words like slowly twisting knives

Album Review by Milo McLaughlin | 12 Mar 2007
Album title: Ballads Of The Book
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Chemikal Underground
The numerous musicians, authors and poets who have contributed to this record evidently share a love of Scotland's rich folk and literary traditions, and the resulting collaborations are as fascinating as you'd expect. Some highlights: Aidan Moffat and The Best-Ofs bring Ian Rankin's tale of the little known Fifer who was almost a Rolling Stone to ramshackle life, Moffat's erstwhile partner in Falkirkian grime Malcolm Middleton teams up with Alan Bisset for a brutally grim character portrait and Sons & Daughters bring a noirish pulp fiction feel to proceedings with their A.L. Kennedy collusion. Alasdair Roberts' voice spills out Robin Robertson's gut-wrenching parting shot, The Leaving, his words like slowly-twisting knives, while Foxface and Rody Gorman contribute a celtic battle march that's part Rawhide, part Ennio Morricone. To boot, Lord Cut-Glass (the Delgado's Alun Woodward) and Alasdair Gray give us A Sentimental Song, a sea shanty set to mournful Cat Power-esque piano, fiery strings and rollicking percussion. [Milo McLaughlin]
Release Date: 5 March.