Album: Live By Numbers
Label: Gin House
If you thought, as I did, that the generation of the angry young men were extinct this man proves you wrong: 32-year-old Troy Faid fom Leeds. I have not come across so political and critical lyrics in folk music for a long while. And I love it. Troy Faid has come up with a 9 track album that he has filled with his thoughts and ideas about the world and what should change. In the title track and fantastic opener “Live by numbers” he criticizes materialism, in “War and Propaganda” he indicts the misuse of soldiers and in “Lay in the Gutter” and “So it Goes” he states the importance of speaking up. It’s as if he is trying to use every instant of the record to try and open our minds. That’s great, because it provides the album with a tremendous intensity and depth. Faid chooses his words very carefully so that his lyrics are poetic and quite wonderful: “But there’s nothing gonna keep us down for long/ ‘cause this truth it bears a voice of a universal tongue” (“Double Speak”). Musically, the album is just as intense as lyrically. Troy Faid has created his very own modern folk style that is stunning. There has been a very nice and healthy development from his debut album “Last Weeks Tune” on to his second album “Solus” (both of which are well worth listening to!) towards this one which really tops his musical achievement. A traditional instrumentation has been combined with musical influences from jazz, modern, world music, sometimes even experimental. Faid sings with a natural, earthy voice that transports the songs’ content convincingly. The arrangements are transparent and light and vary from song to song which adds to the great diversity of the album (co-produced by Ross Halden and Troy Fayd). There are two instrumentals that reflect on Faid as a fabulous guitar resp. banjo player. Funny enough, in his playing you will find the same furious intensity as in his lyrics. All of the nine songs on this album are great, I really wouldn’t want to miss a single one, but there is one outstandingly cracking tune that deserves an extra mention: “Samadhi”. What a song! So full of life, so full of energy and philosophy and joy, based on the exclamation: “I will not walk this world asleep/ Hypnotized by the lies they breed”. In my 10 favourite songs ever this would definitely find its place.