Kris Drever – Mark The Hard Earth (Navigator) 08/03/2010

March 24, 2010 by  

I didn’t know what to expect when I first heard that Drever was making a solo album. I know that this isn’t his first attempt at solo work, but being a massive Lau fan I wondered if the sounds would be similar. Indeed, they are not. Kris has created his own story telling vibe on this album, completely different to Lau.

The most notable difference is the prevalence of guitar led songs and singular instrumentation. Even though Kris does use other instruments, they are always in accompaniment, instead of leading the tunes. Every song tells a story through voice and guitar that isn’t clouded by unnecessary instruments. Kris’s voice isn’t overly emotive or articulate and this is its strongest quality. The title song “Mark the Hard Earth” is a grown up song about action and consequence. Sincere and honest messages continue in “The Crown of London,” giving the album more weight. Not all songs bear a message and Drever’s cheeky side comes out in “This Old Song,” reminding us that folk can be fun. The simplicity in voice and instrumentation make the songs on this album very memorable.

This is folk music at its best. If you don’t like simple, straightforward songs and minimal instrumentation then I would steer clear of this album. However for those of us who like to listen too new traditional tunes that could be passed onto the next folkie generation (as folk music should be) then this album is superb. No two songs sound the same and Kris Drever’s vocals keep the album alive throughout.

[rating:4.]


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