Bill Ryder-Jones - If...

As much as a surprise as a revelation
Bill Ryder-Jones - If...
Created as a conceptual soundtrack to Italo Calvino’s post-modernist novel ‘If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller’, this largely instrumental debut solo album from The Coral’s ex-guitarist is as much as a surprise as it is a revelation. Recorded in part with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘If...’ is dominated by widescreen cinematic soundscapes and fabulously evocative arrangements. Tipping a nod to the work of Clint Mansell on the ‘Black Swan’ soundtrack, both ‘The Reader (Malbork)’ and ‘Le Grand Disordre’ are spectacular in the composition and execution. Elsewhere, Ryder-Jones provides a mesmerising vocal to the ghostly ‘Give Me A Name’ to seal a quite brilliant debut.

8/10

Words by JOHN FREEMAN

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