STUART MOXHAM & LOUIS PHILIPPE
The Devil Laughs
(2019/2020 - Tiny Global Productions - UK)
If you know about Young Marble Giants, GIST, and related sparse skeletal gentle pop that began a minimalist movement and took hold of many a music lover who sought simple and cherished melodies, that somehow wrapped the listener in a soft warm blanket and made them smile, then you may know what Stuart Moxham is all about. Decades later, Mr Moxham has made an album full of the most melodious and memorable tunes one could imagine A span of lush and far from minimalist songs that at times rivals the upper tier classic pop of famous 70's trio America (check out the opening cut 'Tidy Away'), Jim Croce, Brian Wilson, a bit of the sweetest Motown, the early delicate acoustics of Duncan Browne (RIP), but through all the delicious moments that strike a euphoric memory, it is all recognizable Moxham in color. After all, this man has been a fountain of creative overflow for many decades. With this, he reaches a new pinnacle, and with such grace, an oversized amount of elegance, and the same perfection that he is known for, it just makes the listener weep with grand relief.
Stuart took a stack of songs (hand selected) to a friend and great arranger Louis Philippe, and from that point, this most prodigious album came to be. One that could not be ignored, once heard ever forgotten, or even remotely hidden under a doormat for death to discover. This is something to write home about, to cheer more, to stomp the floor for more! So now you know the album (er cd) is a masterpiece, or did I not make that clear enough? Yes, it has many of the same desirable elements of YMG and Mr Moxham's trademark compositional traits, which take unsuspecting melody lines, executed with the least amount of instrumentation, straight to the heart lyrics, softly sung vocals that gift the message to you like the most serene bear hug, and all in such a tranquil manner.
There are of course more dimensions to this brilliant recording, that if you never heard of him, or bought his past music, then you owe it to yourself to get this gem. An absolute shining diamond that will please all senses time after time. In the same effortlessness that Stuart has composed and recorded some of the most cozy, glowing and unforgettable songs you ever glued your ears to, THIS my friend is a jewel among all shining beacons to behold! HIGHLY and MOST EMOTIONALLY RECOMMENDED TO ALL!
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 12 - 28 - 2020