Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Marc Almond with Michael Cashmore – Gabriel & The Lunatic Lover (2008)

artist: Marc Almond with Michael Cashmore
release: Gabriel & The Lunatic Lover
format: CD
year of release: 2008
label: Durtro, Jnana
duration: 12:04

detailed info: discogs.com

This single by Marc Almond and Michael Cashmore was recently released by Durtro. We know Almond from Soft Cell, who had an eighties hit single with “Tainted Love”, and from his solo work. Michael Cashmore is one of the most important composers for Current 93, Nature and Organisation and more solo work. This little record contains two beautiful ballads, for which poems by a certain Count Stenbock (1860-1895) were used. A photograph of this good man graces the back of the booklet. On the cover and booklet, we see some stylish painted portraits of Marc Almond, made by Vania Zouravliov. In short, the presentation is well taken care of.

And now about the music itself. “The Luncatic Lover” starts a capella with Marc’s beautiful and subtle vocals, and is quickly supported by harp and guitar. Different instruments – all played by Michael Cashmore – provide exactly the right accents throughout the song. One shouldn’t expect any Current 93-like ballads here. These two compositions are quite different, with more influences from classical music, and a bit more orchestral, which highlights Cashmore’s versatility as a composer. The music reminds me the most of The Snow Abides, where Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) takes care of the vocals.
The second track, “Gabriel”, is my personal favourite. I love the poem, and the accents on piano and subtle backing vocals (apart from acoustic guitar and other instruments) make this a breathtaking song. I’ve listened to this many a time in the late evening hours, or during the rainy days that fill our Dutch summer. In the end, the song closes with a beautiful climax.

Two excellent tracks and beautiful artwork make this an unmissable addition to your collection. I hope the gentlemen found their collaboration equally successful as I did, and that we may expect more beautiful material in the future. I’m looking forward to it!

Reviewed by D.M.K.

Tracklist:

1. The Lunatic Lover (6:10)
2. Gabriel (5:54)