Following a short layoff, John Martyn returned with his 12th record (including two with wife Beverley and a best-of collection), Grace & Danger. The album, which finds Martyn fronting a tight quartet featuring Phil Collins on drums and backing vocals, paints a stark, painful portrait of Martyn and Beverley’s crumbling marriage. Close friend and Island Records president Chris Blackwell reportedly found the songs so personal and unsettling that he delayed its release for a year. Martyn sets a somber feel right from the start with the seductive opener “Some People Are Crazy” and carries it, for the most part, throughout the record. The hushed, tormented blues of “Hurt in Your Heart,” the beautiful “Sweet Little Mystery,” and the heartbreaking closer “Our Love” are a few of the highlights. With some of his clearest, strongest singing in years and a collection of terse, honest originals, as well as a cover of the Slickers’ reggae classic “Johnny Too Bad,” Grace & Danger shows John Martyn at the top of his game.

Edited by tekkie69 on 25 Jun 2010, 20:13

Sources

Review by Brett Hartenbach

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