You are hereAlbum Review: Faded Circus - Faded Circus (Politely Fighting)
Album Review: Faded Circus - Faded Circus (Politely Fighting)
An almost whispered selection of songs from Cheltenham-based songwriter Paul Jones, who performs under the guise of Faded Circus, presumably to avoid confusion amongst the blues fraternity. Comparisons have already been made to the late Elliott Smith in terms of the desire to create ambient and richly acoustic soundscapes as a canvas for these songs. There's nothing forced here, rather a sense of minimalist relaxation, calm and serenity, which may be due to the fact that most of the songs were composed whilst living by the coast in Cornwall. That sense of isolation runs through the course of the album; some of the song titles suggest this sense of solitude from Bumblebee Lament and Solace to In the Teeth of Winter.
Self-produced with only the one other musician contributing, namely Jay Murray who provides drums on just a couple of songs, A Layman's Wish and Ombudsman, the remainder is exclusively down to Paul Jones, who appears just as at home on guitar as he does on keyboards or any number of other instruments, not to mention the handling of a vintage reel to reel, which helps create the desired sound. Even banging a few random objects such as radiators instead of standard percussion adds to the unique quality of the record.
Contemplative and multi-textured, the ten songs rarely stray from the whispered vocal throughout and therefore create a thematic, almost concept approach to album making with no discernible or obvious choice of standout song for 'single' release potential. With rich multi-layered vocal harmonies and the liberal use of open tunings, a CSN comparison is difficult to ignore. If I were to be brutally honest though, a stronger voice would have driven home a more memorable experience for me personally.