John Southworth - Miracle In The Night - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

John Southworth - Miracle In The Night

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:10 Release Date:2019-05-03
John Southworth - Miracle In The Night
John Southworth - Miracle In The Night

Being a literate, intelligent singer/songwriter with a penchant for off-centre pop can often mean that you are too smart for your own good. At least when the wider public appeal is concerned. Enter John Southworth, An Englishman transported to Canada, son of Pete Shelley. No not that one, the one that was instrumental to the success of King Crimson in the late Sixties, early Seventies.

Southworth has been making some exquisite, layered pop for some twenty years or so, 12 albums under his belt, including “Miracle In The Night”, this latest one. None of those albums went below really good, shapeshifted from quirky latter day XTC-like pop to lush orchestral arrangements. “Niagara” from 2014 was a true example of how modern baroque pop should sound like.

“Miracle In The Night” is no exception as far as musical excellence is concerned. This time around, Southworth is in a late night, almost jazzy mood, with almost sparse arrangements, like on the piano, bass and hushed accordion (present almost through all the tracks) of the title track, which at one moment suddenly picks up, and then returns to where it started from.

Southworth's songwriting craftsmanship is immaculate throughout, no wonder he teaches it, and his lyrics are a perfect match throughout. It is almost impossible to pick out a standout track, they all are.

As he puts it himself, the songs on the album “exist in a kind of inner dimension I like to regularly visit, outside the bubble and the babble. They only really work at night. And only can be really sung in the still of the night. Each a kind of nocturnal prayer. Each containing a little miracle. A little spell. Designed to get you across the almighty swinging bridge, from here to eternity!"

Yet another exceptional John Southworth album, hopefully, the wider audience will start to notice. It is a question whether Southworth will be bothered, he just keeps his musical excellence coming.

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