Crossfire by The Reads, a review

Well then, The Reads; what’s new? An album, you say, “Crossfire” released next Friday? 

And as you’ll not be going out, any of you really, then you can stop in and listen to new music?

It’s been a while; so take a sideways step first.  Because with this album it’s the constants that strike.

For this, a third album, what endures? Pace, adventure and a sense of wonder.  Making space to feed our imaginations.  Much that’s familiar; a delight in building melody and counterpart, structure and lyricism as a coherent whole.

The Reads – live, Chester 2019

I listened to The Reads loads when their first album was new-ish, 2011-2012.  If we said that was a more optimistic time for the world at large; the Olympics beckoning in London and all the opportunities of a new century laid out to choose from, would anyone argue?   

Is right now the best time for a new album? Maybe not, but life comes anyway it can. 

And that, for me, is a large part of what I come to The Reads for, for the sweet in bittersweet.  A lightly drawn promise that it will get better.   And they’re getting radio play once more; the connections that need making are being made and that can’t be anything but a good thing.

Lyrical highlights: the softly promised revolution offered up by the “Top of the Rock”.  The sentiment’s neither nice or nor tidy and yet the delivery’s like velvet.  And the heart-on-your-sleeve torture of “Oblivion”; here’s an accurate knife for what’s dying; delivering a swifter death.

“Crossfire” stands somewhere between folk and pop with the added sensibilities of self-reflective rock.  Strings and synth forming non-standard shapes of their own, bass as bones and the whole drawn together.

“The Grecian Arm” strikes me deepest though; a thing trying to go faster than itself before then drawing back in.  There’s simple elegance in that.

The whole of the album bears the hallmarks of Generation X; a sense of the whole world falling and finding pleasure where it offers itself up; determined to find the footholds that it can.   (Are we a symptom of our times or are our times a symptom of us?)

Great to have you back The Reads … now about those gigs…

The Reads and their music can be found here https://thereads.co.uk/

Published by Rebecca Sowray

Living the ordinary dream. Words and music. Keeping the faith in all things local.

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