I approached this particular review with much trepidation after my dealings earlier this year with a review I carried out for the so called third Nirvana album entitled “Local Anaesthetic” which in my opinion was pretty awful and a sad reflection on the what was the wonderful unique progressive pop elements associated with the original and classic Patrick Campbell-Lyons / Alex Spyropoulos “Nirvana” pairing. I’m pleased to say that “Songs of Love and Praise” the fourth “Nirvana” album is pretty much back on track as to what might have been expected from this great band. Of course, and in a sense one doesn’t have the right to be too critical over the change of direction taken by Patrick Campbell-Lyons on the third album as after all it was in effect “Patrick Campbell-Lyons”a solo effort on his part, but the sheer fact that it was marketed under the Nirvana moniker was both confusing and totally misleading.
And so; what has changed with the fourth album and in effect Patrick’s second solo album? Well there is a distinct return to the beautifully constructed exceedingly uplifting well considered pop music sensibilities of the original “Nirvana” with slight elements of progressive rock and blues leanings in the mix. There are too sprinkled in amongst the variety of musical styles some interludes of free flowing jazz encompassing some absolutely wonderful and quite faraway piano work. Sheer joy too in abundance with the rearranged rendition of the old Nirvana classic “Pentecost Hotel” utilizing a children’s choir (from Wandsworth SW London) to add elegance and charm as a backdrop of spine chilling falsetto accompaniment to the main vocals. Certainly though, one of the many stand out features throughout this album are the softly delivered, almost whispered melancholy, vocals of “Patrick Campbell-Lyons”. His lovely warm vocal style is positively endearing creating a feeling of dreamy ambience throughout, just so peaceful and all together atmospheric. In addition it is necessary to add that there are some lovely female vocal backing harmonies and the musicianship provided by the band Jade Warrior is very solid throughout. On the negative side and in my opinion there are, on some tracks, a most definite and unnecessary over indulgence with orchestration overkill. There are too some odd moments when the music loses direction and tends towards the boredom axis.
Summary: An interesting and very melodic pop album with a jazzy edge but with little appeal in today’s progressive market and possibly only of interest to collectors of early seventies pop psyche or a Nirvana completest.
Artwork: An incredibly beautiful package full of wonderful artwork together with detailed liner notes and photos.
1. Rainbow Chaser.
2. Please Believe Me.
3. Lord Up Above.
4. She’s Lost It.
5. Nova Sketch.
6. Pentecost Hotel.
7. I Need Your Love Tonight.
8. Will There Be Me.
10. Lazy Day Drift.
11. Ad Lib.
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