THIS WEEK I'M LISTENING TO...DANIEL CAVANAGH Monochrome / Colour (Kscope)
Originally released as ‘Monochrome’ in 2017, Daniel Cavanagh’s most recent solo outing has been given a new lease of life – and four bonus tracks – and is back in the racks (with a viciously bright Tango’d orange cover) as ‘Monochrome / Colour’. Unsurprisingly, given his role as Anathema’s lead guitarist and principal songwriter, the material on offer doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the introspective moments of the day job so if you’re not an Anathema fan – and there are those cursed with such an affliction – then ‘Monochrome / Colour’ is not for you. But it’s an album of rich, earthly delights, with guest vocals from the wonderful and equally as talented Anneke van Giersbergen, and is well suited to periods of quiet reflection and self-contemplation.
Much was made of the album on its release, but the focus now is on the additional material which has pretty much turned a fifty minute album into a seventy-five minute album with the minimum of effort. Acoustic (and slightly shorter) versions of opener ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Silent Flight Of The Raven Winged Hours’ offer a different perspective on the ‘original’ – or, at least, better known – takes of the songs, the latter losing none of its fascination in its stripped down form. ‘Found’ is a sparse, haunting piano piece, repetitively bleak yet absorbing in its intensity, while ‘Scandinavia’ is a more atmospheric song, poignant and morose and almost new-agey at times, largely fleshed out with scant acoustic guitar motifs.
It’s a bit late to be making suggestions now, but it might have been better to have interspersed the newer material amongst the original running order, just to create a more cohesive release. But, hey, everyone’s a critic...
© John Tucker February 2020