Catch the Brass Ring
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2007, Volume 14, #12
Written by John Metzger
Thu December 13, 2007, 03:30 PM CST
Ferraby Lionheartís ambitions are as grand as his name suggests. Throughout his debut Catch the Brass Ring, he gives old-time folk and blues styles room to collide with the swooping angst of Jeff Buckley; the lush, melancholia of The Beach Boys; the pastoral beauty of Nick Drake; and the psychedelic melodiousness of The Beatles. On The Car Maker, he escapes his primary influences by adding a dose of Bacharach-ian horns and Nashvillian guitar until the song assumes a Wilco-meets-Josh Rouse tonality. Likewise, on Before Weíre Dead, he draws Buck Owens through the Traveling Wilburys. Overall, however, Catch the Brass Ring ó from the dreamy waltz of Call Me the Sea to the hushed, ghostly near-resignation of Under the Texas Sky ó is born from the same heartbroken space as Sean Lennonís Friendly Fire.
Although he begs, borrows, and steals his arrangements from all of the current, pop-culture touchstones ó and in spite of the fact that the collection reeks of the insular solitude in which it was concocted ó every sound, every mood, and every feeling evoked by the music on Catch the Brass Ring is well suited to Lionheartís lyrics. His songs seem to spring from a man who is possessed by his desire and obsession, and he repeatedly clings to an unrequited love that likely never will take root and grow. When his voice climbs high, it is filled with pain, sorrow, and anguish. Still, Lionheart is a hopeless romantic, sometimes tragically so. Even when he comes to realize that he has lost the war, he still makes a plea to be remembered.
Whether Lionheart can translate the emotional power that he displays throughout Catch the Brass Ring into a full-blown career remains to be seen. After all, the tale he tells is so deeply personal, that it would be impossible to parlay a return to this same well into a similar level of achievement. For what itís worth, though, Lionheart has turned Catch the Brass Ring into a haunting depiction of a heart that has been blown to bits but keeps right on beating.
Of Further Interest...
Catch the Brass Ring is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box