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After creating a bit of a name for himself and gaining a real hardcore fan base in a band called Easyworld, David Ford decided to go it alone. He split up the band in 2004 and seemed to vanish off the face of the earth. There were rumours of solo projects but no one was really sure if anything would come of it. Then in 2005, without any real fanfare or publicity he returned with a first solo album, releasing it on the quiet and relying on word of mouth for news of the album to spread. Slowly the fan base from Easyworld, myself included started to find out about the album and gradually Ford's popularity bean to grow.
He comes from Eastbourne and his previous band were once dubbed the best thing to have come out of the sleepy seaside town. Well when the main competition for the title is Toploader I can't imagine that's too hard a title to actually win. One of the factors that really drew me to Easyworld was in fact Ford's song writing ability and I hoped this album would be able to live up to the presidency set by his earlier work.
The album is not only written and performed by Ford but he also did all the production work on it as well. The majority of the album was recorded in his friend's houses and finished off in his cellar in his home studio in Lewes. It seems to be another example that when a record company just lets an artist really have musical freedom over an album, the results can be quite amazing. The album and style really pick up where Easyworld let off but there are also parallels that can be drawn to the likes of Tom McRae and David Gray.
I was always impressed with Easyworld from a musical point of view, but his solo material seems to take on another dimension. He plays all the instruments on the album himself and it not only shows what a talented musician he is, but also allows him to really create the album in the way he wants. The majority of the album sees Ford picking up an acoustic guitar and keeping quite a mellow feel and sound.
There are drums used in certain places, creating a nice tempo to the album and also giving certain tracks a bit of direction. Again the Bass really blends in nicely with the guitars and drums and with a bit of percussion mixed in too makes it quite an impressive musical accomplishment. Certain tracks also have quite an intense, but very emotionally sounding piano intro that seems to work so well for the overall pace and sound of the album.
He still seems to have the ability to write amazing songs and if anything I'd say that his experience with Easyworld have really seen this ability mature. A lot of the tracks seem to have a bit of a hidden meaning to them and Ford's vocals really seem to emote these feelings. You really get a feeling he is singing from the heart and that for me is what really makes this album work. It could have sounded fantastic musically but the vocals always had the ability to let the overall feel down, but thankfully Ford's vocals and performing ability really shine through.
The album is quite slowly paced and that might put people off really getting into it. It isn't one of these albums you'll love straightaway, but it does slowly grow on you until suddenly you realise that it is quite a beautiful album. There are a couple of tracks that really stood out for me, even from the first listen to the album. In particular I was very impressed with "State Of The Union" from the first time I heard it. It has a very mellow feel to it and mainly sees David with an acoustic guitar, then the drums kick around the middle and it really is quite a gentle song with quite a powerful meaning.
Overall I would have thought the pace of the album will put some people off but there aren't really any weak tracks on the album that make me skip past. Yes the pace will be an issue for some but this is quite a relaxing album that really grabs the listener's attention. If you liked Easyworld then you will certainly like Ford's solo work. Similarly if you're into the likes of James Blunt and James Morrison I'd also be quite confident in saying you should like this as well. Perhaps Ford hasn't got the publicity yet, but think it will only be a matter of time.
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Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Don't Care What You Call Me
2 State Of The Union
3 What Would You Have Me Do
4 Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck)
5 Long Time Ago
6 Don't Tell Me
8 If You Only
9 Laughing Aloud