Review by Ewan Jones for Cross RhythmsBACK
This solo project gives Cordner the opportunity to wander from his more folk sound. Though the arrangements do give a nod to his Celtic roots via Americana, jazz (on the playful track "Thinking"), a bit of blues and some straight up soft rock ala Dire Straits. Often many of these genre shifts, crop up within one song and for the most part it works with great success.
"Peter Pan" is well played. "Before The Gun" pays tribute to some of Cordner's influences and tells of the positive choice to pursue expression through songwriting, while epic ballad "Worth Of A Song" follows that theme and closes the album, further hinting at bygone musical heroes while extolling the virtue of singing for singing's sake.
"The Orchard" is a nostalgic look back to simpler times with a dab of wisdom for living in the present - it's a gorgeous song that makes the most of Giffin's sultry sax. "Old Dan" takes a lighter tone (musically at least), being a country number telling the story of Cornder's grandfather who shot a man in Louisiana and had to flee to Texas, way back in the early 1900s.
The album features some outstanding playing from the whole band but particularly good is drummer James Anderson, who plays with real imagination yet doesn't detract from the other musicians. This is a diverse and fun album although some fans will miss the more traditional sound.
Still, Cordner shows that he is a master songwriter, adept at penning tunes in a number of different styles and these songs manage to make social comment without being preachy and express humour without compromising intelligence.