Thursday, 9 August 2012

Marjorie Cardwell – In Another World

The Dreams of Not An Everyday Housewife

Diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year, singer/songwriter Marjorie Cardwell unleashes her début album ‘In Another World’, this month – naturally partially cathartic but more than this, the album explores a number of musical and lyrical pastures with support from heavy friends and family members. Firmly planted in a singer/songwriter territory, it recalls styles from the past but never seeks to imitate. The record maintains interest throughout, deftly produced and decorated to demonstrate a collection of compelling material.

I listened mainly via iPod, but without a playlist which tended to destroy the original programming so I kick off with Track 2 'All Over The World'. This is good but the intended opener:'Hole In My Head' is stronger and addresses Marjorie's trauma head on (so to speak) – without being sombre, in fact hopeful and full of love for those around her, or maybe something beyond? I like the nice production touch of the 'beep beep' hospital monitor which floats in towards the song's close.

Marjorie's singing definitely possesses folky origins and whilst clear and very competent has a pervading ordinariness which as I'm unable to indicate who she might resemble in any comparison, somehow makes her delivery both unique and refreshing in its unpretentious, honest, and open style.

Given her ordeal you might expect a warts and all, bruised and scarred deliverance of material but instead we get an open, reflective, mature view on her life, her husband and love ones which may well uplift the listener as it seems to have done the artist.

The best song for me is 'Not On Your Own' where the melody, harmonies and hook unite to produce the album's most memorable song – this in the old wind-up days would be the single.

Truly a family affair, the record features significant contributions from the laid back DC Cardwell (his 'I Am Still The Same' sparkles on all fronts from his 2010 album 'Some Hope') plus son Samuel on beautiful lap steel and Korg synth.

David (DC) and Marjorie have collaborated on the production which is gentle, intimate and multidimensional without ever being cluttered – in fact quite a joy to the ear.

If I had a criticism it would be more vocal harmonies – when they do appear like on 'Not On Your Own' their strengths lift the whole song and give it an extra edge I feel is absent on some of the other material, making some songs somewhat distant.

I flippantly refer and misquote the Glen Campbell/Chris Gantry classic: The Dreams of An Everyday Housewife in my sub-title to this piece. What I really meant, to further misquote is to suggest that Marjorie in her ordeal conjures the suggestion of Not The Diary of An Everyday Housewife, but in many ways just the opposite: The Diary of an Edwardian Lady but fast forwarded to 2012 perhaps?

Although In Another World
succeeds on all kinds of levels, it's very much a feminine album and the words have a poignancy and importance which I suspect will connect more with one half of the population than the other male half. However, it's very accessible and I wouldn't want to dissuade any reconstructed modern man from sampling its delights.

[Available from Madcar Records as a digital download or as CD with two bonus tracks.]


MugsxMeg said...

I have a copy of the album and love it. A good sign for me is if I can and want to sing along to the songs and I definitely do with this album. Have recommended it to friends too hope Marjorie does more.

carie said...

marjorie's songs are beautiful, as is her crisp, clear voice! 'hole in my head' and 'not on your own' are my two favourite tracks. i rate her 'in another world' album, 11 out of 11!

MrQwerty said...

Thanks Meg & Carrie for your comments. Several months on Majorie's album continues to sit not too far from the office Dansette, which is a good sign it will endure - all power to her!