HMS Morris - Inspirational Talks - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

HMS Morris - Inspirational Talks

by Bill Golembeski Rating:10 Release Date:2018-09-21
HMS Morris - Inspirational Talks
HMS Morris - Inspirational Talks

This record is a wonderous Welsh/English hybrid of rock, prog, folk, and pop.

My friend, Kilda Defnut, says, “it’s a pop art album that rocks, and it’s an art-rock album that pops.”

As usual, she’s right.

And I have to say: “Mae’r gerddoriaeh yma yn crafu croeso mawr i’r ffefryn.”

And that, according to the wonder (and hopefully, the accuracy) of Google Welsh translation, says, “This music is a very welcome scratch for a favorite itch.”

Well, I only know two things: Heledd Watson has a sublime voice that can touch the heavens and then descend to the bowls of the Earth and sing like the volcanic fires that fuel Gaia’s soul. I mean, a lot of singers can sing a phonebook, but this woman can sing the phonebook of Welsh names and places in Swansea, Wales. And I also know that’s a tough thing to do because I strolled the city with a map, and for a moment, felt a sense of location because the street on which I stood had a unique and unmistakable name with way too many consonants, nary a vowel to be found, and odd combinations of letters w, y, and ff. But then I realized a whole lot of street names on my Swansea map also lacked the usual vowel expectation and had a whole lot of the letters w, y, and ff.

So, yeah, expect English and Welsh lyrics and vocals, which like the very music, manages to cross-pollination colors.

The album begins with the short “(control).” This instrumental, along with “(neutral),” and “(live),” all of which combined barely reach the five-minute mark, create a prog unity within the flow of the album. Sam Roberts plays these atmospheric keys upon which the album floats and wobbles up, down, and sometimes, sideways into purgatory.

But “Inspiration Talks” rocks with Alex Moller’s percussion, while Heledd sings and soars into an Eastern whirlwind, with background vocals that sandblast the memory of Kate Bush’s last album Fifty Words for Snow from memory. Yes, I love Kate Bush, but this album is fresh fire with equal vocal power. Fans of Never Forever and The Dreaming should give this attention, although nothing here really touches the extremes of “Get Out of My House,” because, ultimately, this is much more of a band album, that, as my friend, Kilda Defnut, said, is “rock music that pops.” (Or vice versa.)

There are absolutely lovely folky bits: “Arth” is celestial cathedral choral stuff that bleeds beauty. “Cyrff” is pop-folk that is off-kilter and humorous. And “Corff” is slow, beautiful, and persistent in its melodic confession. There is a bit of the sacred in all of this music.

And speaking of sacred, some Dead Sea Scroll certainly must contain the musical notation for “Dai at Night,” which, seriously, equals the prog weirdness of Genesis’ “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe).” Now, that’s saying a cosmos of a record spin; but yeah, the tune has catchy humor, but then it turns on a six-pence and erupts into Procol Harum “Salty Dog” drama.

Did I say that I love the song?

“Mother” is deep psychological stuff. My mother, your mother, Elvis Presley’s mother; or as (the great) Ian Hunter once sang, “I wish I was your mother.” The song makes clever use of weird background voices. It’s all very shrink couch odd, but a wonderful guitar solo makes everything quite sane, thank you! And the same is true about “Morbid Mind,” with its staccato beat and utterly bewitched banshee vocal, wonderful pulsing bassline, and even more weird voices emanating from those before-mentioned volcanic fires that fuel Gaia’s soul.

Thankfully, the final song, “(On Our Way from) Earth,” provides a viable escape with a melody and a dream-like vocal that simply wants to circle the warm universe with words, with rock ‘n’ roll, with a slipstream from a “starship far away from Earth,” and quite frankly, everything else that bumps the sun, sings with equal Welsh and English beauty, pops and rocks and rocks and pops, bends the musical relativity curb, adds weird spoken bits, and then plays its heart out and into the hybrid grooves with the simple message, “It’s time to go.”

Or, as my Google Welsh translation tells me, “Mae’n amser mynd.”

Now, in all fairness, many years ago, I sat in a public transport bus (on my way to, all places, Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey) with Welsh school children and simply absorbed their native language conversations. And all those Welsh kids, with their too many consonants, vowels nary to be found, and odd combinations of the letters w, y, and ff, spoke with a beautiful clarity, a clairvoyance seldom found, except, perhaps, in a public transport bus filled with kids who are excited and just talk right out loud; because, as The Who once told us all, the kids are alright.

So, as any language will tell us, “Mae’r plant yr iawn.”  

This record matches that Welsh school children voiced beauty and “dizzy raptures” I heard, many years ago, in the kids’ eager talk, on the way, oddly enough, in a bus to Tintern Abbey, so many years ago.

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