Some interesting folk music on Flyctory.com: Ray Cooper is in the music business since the 1970’s. After working with several bands, he is now doing solo. His latest album Land Of Heroes will be released on 16th April 2021. Here is a review.
Ray Cooper – About The Artist
Ray Cooper is a folk / folk-pop artist, who was born on 22nd September 1954 in Redhill, South of London. He not just a singer-songwriter, but also talented in many instruments like guitar, cello, piano and percussions. He took his first steps in the music business in the late 1970’s with the band Amazorblades. The most important collaboration, though, has been Oyster Band (later: Oysterband), which whom he released records between 1989 and 2011. His solo debut album was Tales of Love War and Death by Hanging in 2014. With the Oysterband, he won several awards. Nowadays, Ray Cooper lives in Sweden.
Ray Cooper – Land Of Heroes – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 43 minutes.
1. The Burning Pile
No lyrics the first four minutes in the Land Of Heroes: the opener The Burning Pile comes with some background vocals (which are sung by Rowan Gondel), but overall, this song shows the instrumental power of the artist. When the mandoline occurs, this song even comes with a touch of medieval music.
Whistleblower is an angry sounding, very social-critic song. A song which is undoubtedly about Edward Snowden. The acoustic guitar licks some rhythm to support the storystelling (which feels rather like spoken word than like singing). I simply enjoy to listen to Ray Cooper. The sound is dramatic, interesting, catching. Cool track.
The wide instrumentation is definitely one of the outstanding features of Land Of Heroes. In the very melodic Circles, the cello is the leading instrument, which almost feels to be gifted to accompany Ray Cooper telling his story.
4. Eyes Of Mercy
The cello and the the acoustic guitars are the key instruments in Eyes of Mercy. The song has a touch of being majestic to me – even though the acoustic sound gives it such a vulnerable touch. Love to listen to the song.
5. The Beast
Welcome to the Middle Ages – that’s how Ray Cooper is greeting the listener at the beginning of the song. The song is not a travel back in time, but it is warning us that many of the things we feel to be cruel about ancient times are still there today. It’s just a wake call, we got lazy with it all! Definitely one of my favorites of this album.
6. Canada Hill
In Canada Hill, Ray Cooper spreads some instrumental magic again. This time, it is a string track, which is really having a nice touch. A bit of chamber music, folk style.
7. We Need More Heroes
Can we call this one the title track? We Need More Heroes is quite uplifting, the song even feels light and happy at the beginning – but it is getting a dramatic feeling towards its end.
We have our tasks and there is work to be done
But in our hearts your light still burns
We need more heroes
And this world still turns
We need more heroes.
8. Dark Father
Dark Father is indeed a dark song, which is crucially concentrating on the vocal part. Just some percussion for the rhythm and scattered piano play. That’s all it needs. Great listen.
9. Ilmarinen’s Ride
A reference to Finnish mythology? This album’s got some surprises, even towards it end. A rhythmic, almost cheery instrumental one. Just over two minutes, but I enjoy to listen to it.
10. Brave Wolfe
This trip to mythology has definitely been a nice introduction to Brave Wolfe, which is has a nice touch of historic music.
11. Dark Sky Park
The Dark Sky Park is another dramatic song, with which Ray Cooper gives us a musical farewell from the Land Of Heroes. It has really been a good trip.
Ray Cooper – Land Of Heroes – Spotify
Here is Land Of Heroes on Spotify:
Ray Cooper – Land Of Heroes – My View
Ray Cooper does the musical travel to the Land Of Heroes in style. A precise instrumental performance, a nice composition of musical atmosphere and straightly presented lyrics. There is a lot of talent in his music. The songs may not be too mainstream-ish – but they got a lot of power.
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