Review: Royston Vince – Cold Air

Having already reviewed two albums by Royston Vince, this London-based artist seemed focussed on creating ambient/electronic music. On ‘Out Of The World’ though, he gamely took on vocal duties for the first time and has now had the confidence to construct a song-based album. Not a bad move, as it happens.

As a frontman, Vince is a good performer with a very clear, appealing voice and you wonder why he didn’t step up to the mic on previous albums.  If the opening ‘Cold Air’ is a little too crisp and superficial then the lightly melancholic ‘The Rest Is Silence’ is a much more attractive offering. ‘Home Again’ is arranged very nicely too, with crisp percussion and flute adding layers to this warm, hopeful track, whereas breezy number ‘Run And Tell’ adds a little white funk to the mix. That said, Vince’s best (not to mention bravest) showing is perhaps saved for ‘In Dublin’; a very moving track where his teary tones are complemented by subtle strings and piano.

On the flipside, he comes comes unstuck on ‘The Longest Conversation’ which seems largely based on ‘The Art Of Conversation’ from his last record (which still sounds like a theme tune to a holiday programme). Likewise, ‘A Quiet Place’ gets nostalgic for the 1980’s in a bad way.

Listening to Royston Vince is a srange but quite uplifting experience. The fact that his music seems so out of touch with modern times and he sings in a consistently uplifting but unaffected manner actually works in his favour. Classify this one as a guilty pleasure, then. 

Web Sites:
Royston Vince Official Site

Further Listening:
China Crisis

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