A second review which I only found out about today!
ANOTHER FORM OF RELIEF
The art of the protest singer seems to have been lost in recent years. Which is unfortunate as there hasn’t been in a time when they have been more needed. The state of this world, and this country in particularly, is practically screaming out for someone to put complaints into words. Which is something of an odd way to open when I’m not sure I’d even consider Robin Grey to be a protest singer.
He does take some swipes at the government of the day (”On the radio politicians dutifully opine which liberties they are taking away”), but most of The Finchley Waltz centres on the personal. It’s a melancoly tale of finding love (at first sight, no less) and then realising it’s not quite what the movies cracked it up to be. So still a protest song to a degree, just not in the political sense.
But then what does all this matter with a voice like this? Grey is one of those wonderful talents that could recite the phone directory on record and you’d still be enthralled. His voice is restrained, yet you can still feel the emotion behind every word. This allows each song to sound light and breezy enough to pull you in at the start, before the emotional punch comes in out of nowhere. Leaving us with the kind of cheerful misery that’s perfect for this time of year.