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Faith In the Morning

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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.


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 rhythmic...
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Faith In the Morning, Whistler
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