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Faith In the Morning

Whistler

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Album Review

Here's a treat. Whistler's sophomore effort finds the British trio continuing where its debut left off, with delicate, acoustic guitar-based arrangements and deceptively sweet melodies that mask lyrics designed primarily to summarize (and thereby forestall) lovers' quarrels. Former disco singer Kerry Shaw now fits comfortably within a recognized genre of wispy English alterna-pop, which is not a bad thing, and the fact that the other two band members are an acoustic guitarist and a violist guarantees that these songs' settings will be a bit unusual. The gently swinging 6/8 meter of "Thank You" is undermined somewhat by James Topham's mournful viola (and by couplets like "Thank you for being the one who died young/After all chances are we won't all go at once"); "Don't Forget Me Forever" centers on the simple but lovely guitar work and harmony singing of Ian Dench; "Watches of Switzerland" actually features electric guitar and drums. For missteps you have the negligible "You and Me" and self-explanatory "Sad Songs." Recommended.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Putting his days as a member of EMF behind him, Ian Dench — armed with only his acoustic guitar — began his collaboration with vocalist Kerry Shaw back in 1996 under the name Whistler. After recruiting violinist James Topham, who also played with Brian Eno, Whistler gigged around England as a three piece before releasing their 1998 single "Rare American Shoes." With their talent of combining Kerry's crisp, but soothing voice that leads on the sensible combination of drowning violins and...
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Faith In the Morning, Whistler
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