Guillemots – Walk The River (Geffen)

May 5, 2011 by  

Guillemots return with their third album, Walk The River, and what a return to form it is. Often when a lead singer leaves the band to pursue a solo career, that can spell the end. If, though, the solo career doesn’t work out quite as planned and they return “home”, the effect on a band can often be for the better.

Fyfe Dangerfield fronts the band, alongside MC Lord Magrao, Aristazabal Hawkes and Greig Stuart, and after a stint as a solo artist, is back with Guillemots for their comeback. It was back in 2010 that Dangerfield decided to go it alone and released a solo album, Fly Yellow Moon. A track taken from that album, She’s Always A Woman, quickly achieved mainstream attention after it featured in an advert for John Lewis, and thus propelled him to new heights of fame, which means a lot is riding on the latest offering from the Guillemots.

The Basket, which is the first single to be taken from the album, is certainly radio-friendly. It’s a middle of the road, up-tempo track, and that could almost be a problem as it sounds more like it has come straight off Dangerfield’s solo album than a Guillemots record. However, on listening to the entire album, it manages to reclaim itself as a Guillemots effort rather than a Dangerfield one. The overall feeling is of a new-age, folk sound and when you find out that the album was recorded in the mountains of North Wales, this may go some way to explain that chilled vibe of the songs. This gives this third offering an edge that the previous albums have failed to achieve, and perhaps it is to do with Fyfe Dangerfield’s confidence as an artist now. I Must Be A Lover is a song about emerging from the darkness and finding the light again, with it’s strong drum beat serves to make the song rather anthemic.

Title track, Walk The River, really showcases how far Guillemots have come, and how good they are together. With really raw song writing and an edgy voice, Dangerfield’s solo pursuit has benefited the band immeasurably. You end up with an album that is not only believable, but so good that you just want to keep on listening to it.

[rating:3.5]


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