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

Published by Rebecca Sowray

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

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