Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Charlie Winston – In Your Hands

English feller finds favour in France…


Michaelangelo Matos: Race you to find the first British writer (I don’t mean on this blog) to use the word “proper” to describe this song.

Matt Cibula: Wow, didn’t think Tracy Chapman Pop was gonna get another shot. I think I was supposed to hate this for many reasons but I kind of forgot to do so because of its canny construction and dude’s voice, which ain’t too bad.

Martin Skidmore: The starting moan and the funky old soul bassline, blues harmonica and panicky horns are promising, and I quite like his thin, soulful voice. Nonetheless, the prevailing impression is of respectful, adult heritage pop-rock. It’s a step from being fun, in an almost tribute-act kind of way, but that sense of someone deliberately harking back to classic music ends up as rather stultifying, in a Mojo kind of way.

Chuck Eddy: I like the comparatively sparse beginning, over that hambone shuffle — clearly British, but (never having heard of the guy before) hard for me to pinpoint as roots reggae, blue-eyed soul, or what. But the more meaningful and intense it tries to be, the more bland and forced it sounds.

Dave Moore: In a post-MJ reflection period that has me listening to “Earth Song” on a regular basis, maybe I’m more willing to give a fair listen to this sort of heal-the-doomed-world Hallmark apocalypse.

John Seroff: “In Your Hands” is a kind of ventriloquism twice removed. The first and most obvious projection stems in both style and title from the work of Peter Gabriel. Winston’s voice is closer in tone and texture to David Gray or Anthony Hegarty, but it’s Gabriel’s musical DNA that’s most clearly on display. The next bit of voice-throwing hocus pocus at work is one that Gabriel and his old ex-partner Collins have both long since mastered: reheating traditional gospel and juke-joint blues inflection and sounds and stirring in a bit of blue-eyed soul. Getting the mix to the proper taste depends on the quality of your cook and while this never quite reaches a boiling point, Winston proves himself slickly capable.

Anthony Easton: I have waited for 9 months to get a combo of student loans and disabilities, I have been relying for almost a year on family money, the odd relief check, credit cards, and loans from friends. There is a strike in Toronto, and so my check is held a little further, and in all honesty it might be until December that I get it. I am a couple of grand in debt, and wondering when it will all come together. All of this is to tell you context for liking this, for being moved by a track that is about navigating a system that seems to be unnavigable, and so I am moved, profoundly by its liberal spirit. If I was not in this situation, if I was more economically stable, I most likely would have problems with the track, would find it mawkish, or trying too hard, or not very sophisticated or even horribly manipulative, a 4 or 5 instead of an 8 or 9. But context intervenes.

Martin Kavka: I want to respect this tale of work-visa woe, but I can’t get the thought out of my head that in an alternate universe it is the showstopper from Andrew Lloyd Webber Presents Moby’s Play: The Musical!.

Anthony Miccio: Somebody beat the Bloc Party to their Rattle And Hum.

One Response to “Charlie Winston – In Your Hands”

  1. Shoulda guessed someone would beat me to the “Antony meets Peter Gabriel” reference!