Reviw: Alex Cornish – Until The Traffic Stops

By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 4:00 pm


Singer-songwriter Alex Cornish has delivered his much anticipated début album ‘Until The Traffic Stops.’ The independent effort has been impressive to say the least, touring the UK and getting radio play from BBC – a remarkable achievement for a truly ‘indie’ release.

First track ‘Until The Traffic Stops’ has a stringy intro until the acoustic and vocals combination enter to sum up the album in the first lines; “I’m not making a new sound/I’m not breaking new ground.” Whilst it is true, the quality of the record is still unquestionable. He might not get full marks on innovation but unlike other ‘conformist’ solo artists he has at least mastered his art.

‘Counting Chimney Pots’ is a particular highlight, Cornish displaying he can venture out of traditional solo-acoustic performances in this more upbeat and synth-filled breakdown which climaxes in a brilliant violin frenzy – indie-folk at it’s best. In ‘This One’s For You’ Alex yet again balances violins and guitars perfectly with a soft overlay of keys to deliver yet another faultless composition. The brilliance in recording makes it all the less believable that this was recorded in Alex’s own bedroom.

alexcornish826078990_l‘My Word What A Mess’ is equally brilliant, the gentle drum never overpowers the delicate vocals or soft strumming of the guitar. The chorus breathes fresh life into the song every time and the tempo changes compliment the song brilliantly. The song also brings out the lyrical playfulness; “I’ve got ten cigarettes left in a pack of  twenty.” That may not be the best example but the album is riddled with clever wordplay throughout, it’s only upon multiple listens or total concentration that the listener can identify these little pieces of lyrical genius.

The album continues strong, ‘Scotland The Brave’ being the next pick of the bunch. The mellow vocals against the marching-band drums provide an intriguing entrance before the psychedelic-acoustic chorus. Alex’s vocals are in top gear for the track as he moans on in a Chris Martin like fashion.

The consistency remains through to the end, before the eight minute epic ‘Untied’ Alex delivers ‘Same Ride Same Way.’ The song starts with creeping keys and dramatic violins – the vocals are again faultless. The track combines the playful lyrics; “It’s a long time since the weather broke;/I see black ties wrapped in leather coats,” with the (yet-again-brilliant) string’n’strum of the violin and acoustic guitar. The track sums up all that is brilliant about the album, it is an accumulation of everything the album has worked up towards. The composition is on top form and the teasing “even though I know and I even though I know,” of the vocals compliments it spectacularly. Whilst it’s not the concluding song it brings together the musical aspects of the rest of the album well.

Closing track ‘Untied’ is a bright yet bitter-sweet adventure which defines the album as a whole. It brings a fantastic sense of closure to a brilliant record – the strings reach new heights and add dramatic tension before the vocals resume on five minutes. This is definitely one of the better tracks off the record and is strongly recommended to anyone who is still unconvinced of this mans remarkable musical ability.

Alex Cornish started his album with a long list of things he couldn’t do, we think maybe he was a little modest, if he wanted to play that game he should have included the fact that he was an enthralling composer, highly intelligent songwriter and was capable of making a debut album of far better quality that released by the male solo artists belonging to any major labels.

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[…] a bit late with one. Earlier this year we reviewed the brilliant; ‘Until the Traffic Stops’ by singer-songwriter Alex Cornish. Since then […]

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