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Encounters with Light


Artist: Heath Common
Label: Hi4Head Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 18 May 2015

Heath Common has broken out from solitary and he now has a band. Following his first album, The Dream of Miss Dee, Common returns with his new album, Encounters with Light. The LP features, amongst other things, Common's reflections on the death of Jimi Hendrix, the legacy of John Lennon and even the exploits of the notorious jail-breaker Ray 'The Cat' Jones...

I'm seriously torn between loving and hating this album. I love it, because musically, lyrically and stylistically it's a wonderfully entertaining listen... but I hate Common's inability to carry a note. Yes, the guy can write interesting lyrics, but he should stay away from the microphone. To me, it's the equivalent of a composer, trained in piano, composing a piece of music, with the aim of having it performed on violin... and then, even though he can't really play the violin, insisting that he plays the piece.

I think the problem here is that Common is a poet (and I despise poets and everything they stand for normally) who can tell a good yarn, but that's where his involvement should end. Like the numerous musicians he flew in, he should maybe have also hired some guest artists to perform the lead vocals.

Some will no doubt argue that his voice makes this album something special; that it stands out from the rest. Common, is not just a bit off, he can't sing at all. His voice makes my toes curl; he's bloody awful. In the end, his warblings were too much of a distraction, and this was not an album I'd want to listen to again. This is a shame, because as I mentioned earlier in every other respect it's a great album.


Nick Smithson

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