Joy of Nothing, Glassnote label, is the second solo album, of this Northern Irish, fine singer/songwriter who brings together a collection of wonderful songs, superb musicianship emulsified together by his soulful vocals that soar above the music and then mingle in the background and every-time pierce the vaults of your own emotional responses whether happy, sad, light and dark. This much anticipated second album has now released after a six year wait, but you have to wait for good things to happen and ‘Joy of Nothing’ is definitely a good album. So now we can journey through a luscious collection of ten songs that is authentic and gives you a feeling of hope as the thread of loves lost and gained. The album has a flow as one track flows into another with a different tale and tempo but always of quality; some of the tracks have a full sound others are stripped back. ‘Janey’ is a beautifully crafted song that has a country feel that draws you in so that you want to know Janey in person. The closing track ‘Guiding Light‘ with Ed Sheeran as his duet partner is the defining track of the album for me with its anthem soaring phrasing and full of hope and mellow fruitfulness that stays with you longer after the final note fades away. Unusually there is no weak track everyone has its strength whether we have Bonnie Rait as backing vocals on ‘You and I‘. It is Foy’s voice that is the standout element he has at times a bluesy approach, then he belts out a rocky anthem and then cuts it back to soul-searching simplicity all with a change of tempo and tone in his melodious, fluid vocals. As you listen he reminds you of many artists for a fleeting moment including Cat Stevens, Nils Lofgren etc. etc. but this is no imitation it is the real deal as Foys vocals and words burst out of the album on tracks like ‘Paper Prince’ with its metronome style drumming intro as you wait for what you know is just a beat away that voice as he drones out “Home alone again, although the sun still shines……. just the passage of time”. Foy Vance is an immensely talented musician whose profile should be higher and this album should certainly get him noticed especially following on from opening for Bonnie Raitt on her European tour. This is an album that is full of poetry and music and one that should not be absent from your collection because you always need a strong singer/songwriter to put your emotions into a song at some point in your life! Foy Vance does this for you on Joy of Nothing, which is not a subtle album but one where emotions in all there rawness are laid out whether it is pain or hope.
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