album review::Anthony Reynolds:British Ballads

Anthony Reynolds’British Ballads is one of those records you have to cozy up with a few times, before it really starts to seep into the bloodstream. Definitely not some record, you casually throw on in the car with your backwards hat friends, and expect them to salivate. Anthony says, although he has on occasion been paid for work, he has never worked for his pay, and while money is useful, it is no motivator for creation. Perhaps he best puts his songs in perspective with the following:

I only exist on my records and that’s the main reason they exist…..Outside of my songs I am merely a random squadron of second hand opinions, genetic pull and shove and floating moods, fancies, and debt.

Beyond the lush arrangements, and hazy melodies, British Ballads emanates from the dark and nebulous cracks of the psyche, where material may not be pure evil, but certainly isn’t pretty. Anthony was assisted on British Ballads, by the impeccable Dot Allison on “I know you know,” and by Vashti Bunyan on occasion. I think English comedian Robin Ince summed British Ballads up better than I could ever, with this forecast:

This is an album that smells of creased Penguin Modern Classics, abandoned cathedrals, unicorn dung, wheat fields and redheads.

‘Gypsy Blues’ Live in Paris 2002

‘Beauty and me’

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