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Marc Almond

Stardom Road

 

 

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 MARC ALMOND

Stardom Road -2007 - 7

This excellent album - mainly of covers - takes us through a musical journey in which Almond bares his soul and shows us some of the people who have influenced his music. The fact that he can look inwardly at his life and career within the context of other people's music is quite an achievement. There are no fillers here - just 13 songs that showcase the artist's voice and allow us to understand him just that little better. There are torch songs, overblown ballads, kitsch imprints and just about every area encompassed by Almond in the past. At times you feel he is almost apologising for who he is and the rather weird world he evolved from. For me the joy of this album is the realisation that Almond has given vent to some of my guilty secrets. We all have tastes that become guilty secrets. Yes I love Charles Aznavour, yes I love Al Stewart and yes I love the music of Paul Ryan and they are all here in quite a stunning collection. So side by side we have Aznavour's "I Have Lived", Stewart's "Bedsitter Images", Ryan's "Kitsch" along with well known standards such as an excellent "Strangers in the Night" where Almond makes the song his own and you don't even think about the Sinatra classic. There are big ballads here "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten" (a duet with Sarah Cracknell), The tribute to Gene Pitney "Backstage (I'm Lonely)" and "Happy Heart". All are done very tastefully. He also produces an excellent version of Bowie's London Boys which brings back the real meaning of a song that has tended to be overlooked as just one of the Thin White Duke's early Newley inspired songs - it really is much more. Overall the album takes us through a multiplicity of moods and sentiments without ever becoming mawkish. A wonderful musical journey with just the hint of difference you would expect from an artist such as Almond.