From arresting opener ‘The Cusp & The Wane’, to the gentle orchestral flourish of ‘Hey Little Bruiser’ and the title track’s candid confessional, this quintessentially English singer-songwriter has created yet another classic, one where back to basics instrumentation really lets the words breathe.
Ed plugs in Jeff Buckley’s ghost for the guitar lines on ‘Murmur In My Heart’, adds organ to the mix with the 70s piano stomp of ‘Brothers and Sisters’ and turns to cutting observations for ‘The Pretty Girls’.
Elsewhere, the sobering ‘Last Will and Testament’ sees guitar take centre stage again -tackling the song’s morbid subject-matter with gushing romanticism - “Run your fingers through my hair / I’ll be here with you long after I die,” - before Ed calls it a night with purring fireside hymnal ‘The Man That Time Forgot’.
Those rumours that the dapper gent who spent thousands of pounds sinking a piano in the name of album cover art, and who penned the fizzy-pop of ‘Born In the 70s’ and ‘Shanghai’ has mellowed, are greatly exaggerated.
“Back Into the Woods is more like a restoration project, where you find all this incredible wallpaper lurking behind the wood panelling. I don’t know what’s changed, if anything, but maybe I’ve just given up panning for another fool’s gold. All I know is that I’m happy I’m not digging graves for a living...”
"We recorded the whole record in it's running order, so the moment that resonates the most with me was when I finished 'The Man That Time Forgot' and noticed that the bottle of Wild Turkey had slowly been finished without me even realizing. It really was the most easy and special experience to make this record. I also had a few friends revolving in and out of the session who witnessed the arduous purging of my tainted soul and spurred me on, which perhaps made me perform a bit better. A once in a lifetime event that I'll never forget..." Read more...
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