Album Reviews

M Craft – Silver & Fire

(679) UK release date: 22 May 2006

M Craft - Silver & Fire It’s been a long time coming, but finally M Craft‘s debut album is with us. Indeed, at times not too far gone, it looked as if Silver And Fire would never see the light of day. There were financial traumas prompted by M Craft blowing his recording money on two separate, both failed, attempts at the finished piece, with problems magnified by M Craft’s inability to play any instruments due to a nasty accident with a faulty amp, he was electrocuted.

A chance meeting with a friend in London would change his ill fortune as he offered to record for M Craft, and so Silver And Fire was born. Building on a quiet, but encouraging media fuss generated from 2004’s EP, I Can See It All Tonight, Silver And Fire aims its bow at the same tranquil, classy acoustica.

The album begins with the last two singles, the recently released title track, and 2004’s Emily Snow. Both are lazy, happy-go-lucky acoustic goodness with breathy female vocal backing. If the first tracks are testament to anything it is that M Craft seems unrushed in his writing, something made manifest throughout the album.

You Are The Music is the first standout track, swapping the acoustic guitar for electric, and soft jazz rhythms for a more brutal sound, it is irresistibly funky, and reminiscent of the best bits of Bronze Age Fox. The beauty in this record is that it’s so unrushed, and utterly unpretentious. It doesn’t steal your attention, or demand consideration, and it will quite happily pass its time playing softly in the background. But, if you care to listen with greater intent, a whole world of beautifully woven, intricate, swirling melodies held together by soft gloopy rhythms comes to the fore. M Craft has a great talent for songwriting, consistently offering varied dynamicism, excellent vocal patterning, and engaging lyrics.

Love Knows How To Fight contends strongly for the honour of the best song on the album. With aching vocal melodies, tightly knit vocal harmonies, and a choking guitar sound it exhibits a maturity in M Craft’s songwriting that sounds like his tenth album, not his first. But this is his first album, are there are all too frequent reminders of this in the album’s weaker points. Lucille (Where Did The Love Go?) quickly gets boring, and some harsher critics will slate the lack of diversity or energy of Silver And Fire. But this is an enchanting, endearing record, with some astute songwriting, a journey touching upon elements of soul, funk, and lounge bar jazz.

On Snowbird, Craft muses “One day I’ll spread my wings and fly” – Silver And Fire puts him on the runway.

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M Craft – Silver & Fire
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