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Stephen Cummings — Prisoner of Love (22 Feb., 2019)            Stephen Cummings — Prisoner of Love (22 Feb., 2019) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)
♣    Zázrak Stephena Cummingse! Prisoner of Love, že by mohlo být vyprodukováno v 80. letech, ale zároveň zní tak nějak nadčasově. Album toužící po omlazení, sebevědomí, humoru — album, které je při prvním poslechu tak přístupné a příjemné. Bolest a netrpělivost je tu samozřejmě stále — ale zároveň zní tak spokojeně. Prisoner of Love je album, které budete chtít slyšet znovu a znovu a znovu.
♣    „The Wind Blew Hard“ je píseň ovládaná akustickou kytarou spojená se smyčci, které se zřejmě vznášejí z éteru, se stravitelným vokálem Cummingse a jeho emocemi. Tato píseň s duhovým snem je bohatá díky svéu jednoduchosti. Vydali jsme se na cestu s Cummingsem, unášeni ve vzduchu a létáme. Mé létající sny nikdy nekončí dobře, ale tato píseň je nádherná, i když ne úplně pohodlná — s Cummingsem ve vzduchu „hledajícím světlo“ — s tím, že píseň je potenciálně metaforou lásky, s Cummingsem se stále učíme, jak milovat navzdory stálé bolesti. Tato píseň je unášená a vznášející se, ukazuje, jak může Cummings hýbat lidmi svou hudbou. Na stole máme dvacáté sólové album Stephena Cummingse a objevujeme charakteristické potěšení z jeho nového díla.
Birth name: Stephen Donald Cummings
Born: 13 September 1954, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Location: Melbourne ~ Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Album release: 22 February 2019
Record Label: Bloodlines
Duration:     31:57
Tracks:
01 Life Moves On   2:39
02 Mr Ripley   3:43
03 Poor Pilgrim   3:55
04 One Hand Reaches For Another   2:49
05 The Wind Blew Hard   3:36
06 Then Comes Love   3:12
07 Lucy In A Black Dress   3:29
08 Shifting Heavy Circles [Explicit]   3:09
09 Don’t Break Up With Me   2:22
10 The World Has No Size Now   3:03
Review
Brian Parker.
YMR Album Rating: ***** (5/5)
♣    Prisoner of Love clocks in at 32 minutes, ten short songs that glow, bounce and move with a sense of dynamism, renewal, and tongue firmly in cheek. It shifts in moods, but there is an overall feeling of excitement — an energetic vibe that has Cummings writing succinct songs that illuminate and are genuinely uplifting.
♣    The album starts with the jangly ‘Life Moves On’ — delivered with shades of Bowie and even a bit of Lennon — has Cummings reflecting on “what seems painful/can pay big dividends”  — with the old sage pondering on the shortness of life and love. Might as well enjoy it while you are still alive – a glowing song to start the album which can barely hide its exuberance.
♣    ‘Shifting Heavy Circles’ is a track that inherently sounds like a Cummings song. Humour and weariness combined with a thumping bass and an eighties guitar solo. The artist pondering the life of the artist with Cummings singing “I work all day/and feel like shit”.  The life of the musician is not always easy.
♣    ‘Don’t Break Up With Me’ is delivered with a quirky, almost avant~garde style — bouncing with energy, meshed with keyboard motifs and reverse sounds — reminiscent of David Byrne but so much more. That “bouncy” feel permeates the album with amazing sounding “real” drums — where it encapsulates you with joy. ‘One Hand Reaches For Another’ is a song that has a Phil Spector production vibe — with Cummings providing a little tribute to that special someone that has helped him when he was “under attack“. Music bathed in sunshine mixed with Cummings’ distinctive vocal. A song almost religious and basking with euphoria.
♣    We have already talked about ‘The Wind Blew Hard’ in a previous review — but it is such an evocative piece of work. A short song, strong on atmospherics and beauty. You almost feel as if you are floating and drifting and making “that escape” with Cummings as your trusty pilot. A little torch song and one of his best. A song that Stevie Nicks would have wished she had written.
♣    When I first heard the first bluesy chords of ‘Then Comes Love’, I was almost waiting to hear the low voice of Renée Geyer. A song that serves as a further reminder of Cummings strength as a songwriter. Deceptively simple — a drunken reverie of a song with a seductive bass, as Cummings sings, “sick of waiting for you/sick of everything you do” — however, there is always love to make it all worthwhile, even when you are feeling like a curmudgeon.
♣    The album ends with the country sounding ‘The World Has No Size Now’ — bluesy guitar, harmonica and that “bouncy” drum sound that makes the album so accessible. A great ending to an album that really makes you feel so uplifted.
♣    Prisoner of Love is an album that is so likeable on its first listen, but this doesn’t take away from the quirky nature of Cummings and his brilliant songs. A strong collection of songs that further exemplifies Cummings as one of our top troubadours — for an album called Prisoner of Love, he actually sounds unbridled and content — and the resultant is euphoric.
♣    Enjoy this album and celebrate one of our most idiosyncratic and uncompromising artists.
Studio albums:
♣    Senso (Aug. 1984/Regular Records)   #46 AUS
♣    This Wonderful Life (Aug. 1986/Centre Records)   #69 AUS
♣    Lovetown (Jan. 1988/Rampant Releases)   #61 AUS
♣    A New Kind of Blue (March 1989/True Tone Records)   #53 AUS
♣    Good Humour (Feb. 1991/True Tone Records)   #40 AUS
♣    Unguided Tour (Aug. 1992/Polydor Records)   #76 AUS
♣    Falling Swinger (Aug. 1994/Polydor Records)   
♣    Escapist (Sept. 1996/Polydor Records)
♣    Spiritual Bum (26 July 1999/Festival Records)
♣    Skeleton Key (3 Oct. 2001/W. Minc Productions)
♣    Firecracker (Feb. 2003/W. Minc Productions)
♣    Close Ups (16 Aug. 2004/Liberation Music)
♣    Love~O~Meter (10 Oct. 2005/Liberation Music)
♣    Space Travel (25 Aug. 2007/Liberation Music)
♣    Happiest Man Alive (6 Sept. 2008/Head Records)
♣    Tickety Boo (2 Nov. 2009 (Head Records)
♣    Good Bones (Aug. 2010/Liberation Music)
♣    Reverse Psychology (17 Feb. 2012/Head Records)
♣    Nothing to Be Frightened Of (Aug. 2014/Head Records)
♣    Prisoner of Love (22 Feb. 2019/Bloodlines)
Live albums:
♣    Live 2002 (April 2003/W. Minc Productions (Limited Edition)
♣    Live in the Big Room (CD/DVD set, 25 August 2008/Liberation Music)
Compilation albums:
♣    Rollercoaster (1993/Polydor Records)
♣    Puppet Pauper Pirate Poet Pawn & King (Oct. 1997/Polydor Records)
♣    That’s My Cave Man (Jan. 2008/Stephen Cummings)
♣    A Life is a Life — Anthology (April 2019/Bloodlines / UMA)

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