Royston Vince made an encouraging start to his solo career with an ambient concept album inspired by walking through London. ‘Out Of The World’ seems less concerned with a particular subject although his website offers a longer album title of ‘Anywhere! Anywhere! So long as it is out of the world!’ so perhaps the theme is one of escapism, inspired by Charles Baudelaire, the 19th Century poet who first coined the phrase.
‘Rain Has Fallen’ is surprisingly optimistic considering its autumnal theme but ‘The Art Of Conversation’ seems to celebrate summer since it’s Spanish guitar melody reminds me of Durutti Column if they ever got round to recording a theme for a holiday programme. Yet there seems to be a worrying trend towards easy listening after hearing the first three tracks.
Thankfully Vince raises his game for ‘Clouds’; although it’s the only vocal-led track on the record, Vince’s tones have a pleasingly vulnerable quality and the tune is suitably dreamy. The title track is a splendid, wistful little number that seems partly influenced by the less “in your face” work of 808 State whilst the elegiac piano melodies underscoring ‘You Didn’t Call’, ‘An Equal Measure’ and ‘The Laden Trees’ make you wonder why he began the album in such uninspiring fashion.
Once again, Royston Vince has created a decent record which takes a while to get interesting. It won’t change anyone’s life and it won’t offend anyone either and its mildly experimental touches indicate that he’s an adventurous musician after all.