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Bailey, Glyn: Testament

With a breathy whisper Glyn Bailey pulls us on a journey in search of “Serenity”. It’s a place that floats on clarinet symphonies and the bulging of a double bass and where the melancholy tones of Bailey himself leave you wondering whether to sigh in retrospective glow or simply sit down and weep for what what’s to come. All of this arrives on the Testament album, a collection of songs where the main protagonist almost croons in a low end lull that soothes the soul while it breaks your heart.

“Eyes”, as this entire album does, somehow seems perfect for the COVID-Current circumstances into which it emerges - although this will all no doubt have been in the process of birth long before we knew of such a thing - where the here and now seem as uncertain but vital as the future. The slither of saxophone is your host here, laying down a path where the destination never quite seems the aim, with the journey instead the point of setting out in the first place. Bailey really is in introspective repose, his easy, engaging and gregarious voice refusing to build up beyond a mere meander and drawing you into the stories and warnings being laid out on the likes of the contradictory tale of “Muse’s Rules”. In many ways I can see, in a slightly less fragile manner, that what Bailey, who is sans band here (but not without the help of constant collaborator Philip Maxwell Senior (occasional guitar and bass) and, amongst many others James Coupe (piano and organ)), lays bare on this offering would surely snag the ear of any Tim Bowness acolyte, or that of a less dance fixated No-man follower. And yet Testament begins its evidence with “Jaques In The City” where sax and accordion causes a flirtation of funk to flutter into being and jazz up what is the opening to an album that never has any intentions of staying quite so jolly at any other point.

Bailey’s heavy hearted vocals are simply perfect for the tale of leaving this plain that “Where” throws to the air, while the never less than controlled “A Good Singer And A Good Song” is positively frivolous by comparison. Mood music is good music and with Testament Glyn Bailey undoubtedly knows how to set the tone, build it, stay true to it, write stories around it and then set it free. This may not be an album for all occasions, or indeed something that will bring the good times and yet there’s a warmth in its intention. Experience it when the mood and setting are exactly as they should be and where this album will take you will be warm, fuzzy but then somehow still tinged with the sadness that every day life all too often provides.

Track Listing
1. Jacques In The City
2. The Light
3. Serenity
4. Eyes
5. Muse’s Rules
6. Marswalkers
7. Where
8. Spark
9. A Good Singer And A Good Song
10. A Moment

Added: May 17th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Glyn Bailey online
Hits: 1017
Language: english

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