Dan Arborise - Of Tide & Trail

Craig Broad 24/08/2009

Rating: 5/5

Reviewing music can be a hard old task. While ultimately as a music lover, you are getting to listen to music that you wouldn't normally have heard, it is often the case that you find yourself writing about bands that are bog standard and bands that are just plain awful. Add this to the fact that, in reality, you don't actually want to harm a band's confidence or be overly critical and that you will straight away be criticised by the artist's fans for any bad word and you have to say that a music critic has an impossible job.

Luckily however, for every bundle of bands that we dislike, there will be a gem, that one album that will lead to a love affair with the artist.

Devon based singer-songwriter Dan Arborise is the gem in my current bundle of CDs with his latest offering Of Tide And Trail. It starts off nicely enough with its folk tinged Another Side Of The Sky containing the sort of guitar melody we have come to expect from the likes of Newton Faulkner but with the maturity of more seasoned artists such as Nick Drake. You'll All Get What's Coming To You somehow showcases phenomenal guitar playing skills but at the same time, is reigned in enough to be a great single, every song after the opening two tracks follows in suit, showing maturity and a song writing nous.

'But there are hundreds of singer-songwriters out there,' I hear you scream. Yes, you are right, no-one can argue with that, there are hundreds of the little blighters but not many of them are really this good. What sets Arborise apart is that he knows exactly how to craft a song and make it interesting in both a mainstream and underground way, with touches of dare I say it, ambient post-rock being hinted at in several places alongside the later stages Of Tide & Trail.

Honestly, Dan Arborise can not be recommended enough and on the strength of this release, he should be at the heights that Newton Faulkner was with his previous album; in fact, that would be selling this album short because Of Tide & Trail should be an album that everybody quotes as legendary and nothing less.

Dan Arborise