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The Kentish Spires - Sprezzatura CD (album) cover


The Kentish Spires


Canterbury Scene

3.08 | 17 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars I was mightily impressed with the debut release of The Kentish Spires, and I was really looking forward to this, the second. The core of the band has stayed the same in Lucie Vox (vocals/violin), Danny Chang (guitars, keyboards, backing vocals), Phil Warren (bass) and Rik Loveridge (keyboards, guitar) but they have now been joined by James Hall on drums and percussion along with woodwind player Chris Egan. Both albums strongly feature the vocals of Lucie as an audible focal point, and for the most part that works very well indeed. They are embedded in the Canterbury scene, and when the band are driving forward with strong guitars, piano, vocals and sax they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. But I am not sure if this album has come out slightly too quickly on the heels of the last one, as there are also moments when the band seems to drift a little, or the vocals jar just slightly.

There are times when they bring in folky elements, and stretch in different directions, but I am not fully convinced they work as well as they could. I feel that Lucie tries to sing out of range at times, struggling a little in the lower registers, and all in all it makes for an album which I actually found quite uncomfortable listening to at times, which given how much I enjoyed the debut I found quite strange. Possibly one reason for that is I expected so much more from this, as the debut was so strong indeed, yet the result is something which is still very much worth investigating while never managing to tick over into the absolutely essential box. When they are on fire, then they sound like an unstoppable force, but there are too many instances when the embers just smoulder as opposed to breaking free. It is still an album worth investigating, especially for fans of the Canterbury scene, and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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