Review: Jack Foley
THE indie crowd have been enjoying something of a purple patch,
recently, going off the strength of recent albums/singles from
the likes of Longview,
Snow Patrol, The Shins,
Delays and now Haven.
All For A Reason is the follow-up to Haven's hugely-successful
Between The Senses and should go a long way to cementing
their reputation as one of the brightest indie acts around.
From the chiming guitar sound and sweeping harmonies of opening
track, Change Direction, through to recent single, Wouldn't
Change a Thing, this is an uplifting, sweeping record, which
only occasionally delves into more downbeat, thrashy territory.
Lead singer, Gary Briggs, can sometimes be found sounding as
soul-searching as Coldplay's Chris Martin, and even evokes memories
of the vocal style of both Puressence and Jeff Buckley, but he
is backed by some uncharacteristically bright guitar work for
this sort of thing - making it a lighter, easier listen than any
of those acts.
Coldplay still have the market cornered on this sort of thing,
of course, but Haven could well be the pretenders to the throne,
finding a maturity that comes with a second album, as well as
some changes of pace and direction.
All For A Reason benefits from the presence of Johnny
Marr and Manic Street Preachers' knob-twiddler, Dave Eringa (who
also works his magic on this week's South
album), on production duties, which keeps the album crisp enough
not to outstay its welcome.
Of the other tracks to emerge with credit, The Smiths'-inspired
guitar-work on Something Moved Me, complete with catchy
chorus, smacks of the classic indie rifts of days gone
by, while final track, Getaway, brings the album to a suitably
rousing, rock-out finale - possibly with an eye on live performances.
What Love Is possesses a similarly grittier edge, with
driving guitars and a harder sound than the first half of the
album, which finds Briggs insisting that he 'wants to have it
all', while there is even a slow-building brooding quality to
Don't Say A Word, with its string-laden backdrop and urgent
Haven, it seems, have delivered another gem in a market which
seems ripe with them at the moment. The only difficulty is in
deciding which of the new albums to rush out and buy.
1. Change Direction
2. Have No Fear
3. All For A Reason
4. The First Time
5. Wouldnt Change A Thing
6. Something Moved Me
7. What Love Is
8. Togethers Better
9. Dont Say A Word