No Regrets –  Choice or Fate (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

 

No Regrets is an exercise in atmosphere and anticipation. There is an art to the slow burn and the pay off, that long smouldering musical journey which at any moment feels like it is about to burst into life, break the tension, deliver the goods. This takes that one stage further slowly building in intensity, claustrophobia, depth and darkness but wonderfully never plays the obvious card, never bursts into life, well, not in the way you have been programmed to expect and the result is even more glorious. By now we know the rules of such songs which makes it even more beguiling when you realise that Choice or Fate threw that chapter of the rulebook away.

So instead of being just a dark and brooding song, it becomes a deep, poignant and slightly melancholic, one way conversation. More melodic than spoken word pieces but relying just as much on the power of the words, No Regrets is set against a backdrop of subtle soundscapes, of plaintive piano, of scything strings, of brooding sonic washes and growing intensity. But it is what is going on between the words and the notes which make it so powerful. The power of space and silence. It is these spaces, these pockets of nothingness that allows the song to brew. You get to hear the drama of the notes fading away to nothing, the final words of a line hanging powerfully in the air, you hear the passion, you hear the intent, the purpose.

Too many songs are about a saccharine groove and a catchy chorus. No Regrets totally subverts that idea, it use music to paint backdrops which feel like a distant storm blowing in, the daylight fading, the encroaching night, it uses lyrics to talk to the listener as an individual, intimately and reassuringly. When was the last time a song did that? I know, right!

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