16 December 2012
Abandoned Buildings always stir something in us. There's beauty in decay. There's the evidence of loss, of something lost. There are rooms we can imagine as happy and populated or experience as empty and cold. Somewhere between the two moments lies a deeper understanding, maybe.
Abandoned Buildings, the album, occupies that space. From the opening and closing motifs we are right there - 'I built this house to give you shelter'.
The album can only be appreciated through immersion. The levels of lyrical acuity and textured arrangement yield more and more with each listen.
Spring Cleaning speaks about facing up to the dark material of our lives perhaps for the first time, in order to move on. Lavender Rose is a slick Steely Dan groove, If I Knock On Your Door a high-style smiler. Sometimes I Talk to Ghosts has an Pink Floyd edge rich with incoming and outflowing lines and features. Answerphone is a deceptively simple stomp on the theme of communication - 'has it all been a big mistake?' Glass Fortress is a dark, swirling journey into the heart of one once-loved, ending with the heartfelt, unbearable 'I tried but I couldn't get in' which threatens to build to breaking point. Footnote in Your Heart is the most fragile, delicate love letter you're ever likely to hear.
Parsons has dug deep into his own experiences of love and loss and asked questions many of us feel compelled to seek the answers for - emotionally, spiritually. In the quest he has fully exercised his own talents as writer, producer, singer, drummer, guitarist and the rest whilst inviting flautist John Hackett, and trumpeter Raul D'Oliveira to the party.
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