Country angst is the opening theme of the album, with Broken Man full of yearning with layers of melody not pure country yes, the lap steel is but the percussion is more mystic with hints of an Indian feel giving this album from the off a contemporary and stylish acoustic sound. The whole album is a celebration of vocal storytelling with the added drama of elegant musical accompaniment, always understated and spot-on the mood Simon Campbell is creating throughout The Knife. The following track is more upbeat with female backing vocals country blues that gets the feet tapping and the perfect antidote to the mood create in the first track. The variation of sounds that blend together as Simon explores the acoustic instrumentation delivered either by guitar, Mellotron or Hammond or the wide range of instrumentation played by a variety of guests, they always add to the tonal texture never drowning the vocals as on the title track with its Parisian feel. This is Simon’s second album showcases seven tracks that reflect real life experiences and places that uses the musical qualities of blues, country and the power of the story.
The stand out trio of tracks on this album are Affairs of The Heart, Sorry I broke Your Heart and the closing track The Man, each one displays a different side of Simon and keeps your interest.
With the quality of vocals on every track, it is not surprising that Simon gained a nomination as a Male vocalist in the 2011 British Blues awards; always restrained, full of emotional intelligence as he gently delivers the lyrics.
The Knife is an album for anyone who enjoys a contemporary twist on American Folk, blues and country, with tonal textures that keeps you engaged from beginning to end on an album despite its simplicity of approach is full of hidden depths and musical intrigue.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Broken Man
3. The Knife
4. Affairs Of The Heart
5. Do You Want Me
6. Sorry I Broke Your Heart
7. The Man
Pedal Steel – BJ Cole
Double Bass – Andy Seward
Drums and Percussion – Keith Angel
Mellotron, Lead and Backing Vocals – Suzy Starlite
Hammond and Wurlitzer – Christian Madden
Wurlitzer – Dave Formula
Melodeon and Hurdy Gurdy – Andy Cutting
Bouzouki and Tenor Guitar – Malcolm Stitt
Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars – Simon Campbell
Harmonium and Grand Piano – David Kilgallon