Excerpts from acCritique by Eloise_98512 - "The Lioness In Exile"
E C C E N T R I C I T Y:
Lord Baldwin's new album and the treasure hunt it invites
It always impresses me when I spend time with Lord Baldwin's music how this artist is not afraid to step outside of his comfort zone in all sorts of ways : lyrics, melody, instrumentals, mood.
The 2016 album " E C C E N T R I C I T Y" showcases that fearless approach. The album feels like a journey, at times hesitant, at times a bit lost, revealing hidden treasures along the way.
There are 28 songs in the deluxe, two-disk album, and I will focus on the gems I found along the way, rather than giving a review of each and every song, which I have done in previous reviews of Lord Baldwin's music.
Like a walk in the woods, where the path at times is not clear, the surrounding songs are markers that help us understand the heart and soul of the bard, that are forever searching for authenticity and meaning. A bold undertaking, that shows courage on the part of the artist, as he struggles to come to terms with getting older and the unavoidable finality on the horizon.
E C C E N T R I C I T Y continues the journey, with some songs again that are quiet, reflective, and that truly feel like we are partaking of the journey the musician is inviting us to join. At times, the songs feel like monologues, that the artist wants us not just to hear, but also to accept. The doubt, the hesitation, the questions are very real and feel close to the skin. The inside sleeve (of the deluxe two-disk album) shows on one side an open suitcase full of personal items apparently important to Chester. It is a perfect image to get across the idea of a journey, the contents of which he shares generously and honestly. It is up to the listener to decide which items he or she can relate to.
I am also pleased that Lord Baldwin included one of my poems from my collection " Solo Flight ", " If It's All The Same To You ", that he put to song. " Chasing That Dream " is a flawless song that evokes a Bob Dylan like melody and harmonica. " Still In Transition" is a great ballad with very fun instrumentals, and a Tom Wait's like spirit, it is a haunting song about accepting the inevitability of the finality of our earthly lives. " More Of The Same " has a dynamite saxophone, and mind you, all the instrumentation you hear is done by Chester himself, very impressive. " Like An Old Man " showcases Chester's virtuoso harmonica, always a treat with its range and warm, energetic tones. " Not In Such A Hurry " is a personal song about realizing the slowing down of time with retirement. It has a bittersweet undertone, of acceptance and hope.
In " Hope Springs Eternal " Lord Baldwin harmonizes with himself, in a song that is touching for its emotional sparsity and transparency. " Unkind Words " is chilling in its unflinching insight and honesty. All in all, in this expansive and patient journey towards a deeper self acceptance and deeper purpose, Lord Baldwin leaves treasures for us to find in the sparkling gems he leaves along the way. As always, a day spent with Lord Baldwin's music is a day that leaves my heart and soul warmer, more hopeful, reassured and at peace.