William Fitzsimmons: The Sparrow and the Crow (Inertia)

 |   |  <1 min read

William Fitzsimmons: If You Would Come Back Home
William Fitzsimmons: The Sparrow and the Crow (Inertia)

If this hushed folk album was written after a divorce as has been suggested then that explains a lot: it is introspective; the lovely vocals barely rise above a whisper; and the lean, pointed lyrics address all manner of separation emotions (We Feel Alone, If You Would Come Back Home, Please Forgive Me, You Still Hurt Me, They'll Never Take The Good Years are among the song titles).

While this doesn't scoure as much as the late John Martyn's heart-ripping Grace and Danger, it has something in common with the more muted style of Nick Drake.

Born to blind parents, Fitzsimmons grew up in a house of sound and with sensitive singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Jackson Browne on the stereo. Like those Californians, Fitzsimmons isn't afraid to bare his soul and weaknesses, but over the long haul here you sometimes wish that when he is feeling something approaching anger (as he does) we might have heard some of that in his vocals.

But he broadcasts on a narrow frequency and while his voice is quivering and seductive, the range of emotions he goes through in his lyrics almost all come with the same plucked guitar and breathy ballad framework.

Someone said it sounded like an album by a mopey guy who wanted to pick up a bookish girlfriend. I laughed. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Screen Freak (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Various Artists: Screen Freak (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Elsewhere has previously posted the Late Night Tales album of movie themes At the Movies, but the segues between the pieces was jarring and the album -- mostly of snippets from movie themes --... > Read more

The Doors: Live at the Bowl '68 (Warners)

The Doors: Live at the Bowl '68 (Warners)

Anyone charting the career trajectory of the Doors would doubtless have it as a rapidly rising inverted V with an equally sudden if rather more bumpy decline after the peak and perhaps a little... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TWISTING THROTTLE AMERICA By MIKE HYDE: Hello, I must be going.

TWISTING THROTTLE AMERICA By MIKE HYDE: Hello, I must be going.

You can’t deny Mike Hyde from Christchurch has seen a lot of America -- but you’d also add quickly he barely encountered it. That’s what happens when your task is riding your... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE COMMERCIAL ALBUM: Well, if you're so smart . . .

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE COMMERCIAL ALBUM: Well, if you're so smart . . .

The code for a commercially successful pop song is relatively simple to crack: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, a different but similar bit (usually referred to as the bridge or middle eight), then... > Read more