- 07 Oct 14
Heartfelt Break-up Album from Canadian Crooner
Following the end of his marriage, Canadian folk singer/songwriter Royal Wood, spent five weeks holed up in a cabin in Co. Meath putting his thoughts down. The result became The Burning Bright – a beautiful, direct and heartfelt break-up album.
On opening track ‘I Always Will’ Wood lays his feelings out clearly, crooning “I love you still, I always will”. This plain lyrical style is evident throughout. Wood often chooses direct phrasing over metaphor, making his songs all the more relatable.
‘White Flag’ chronicles the couple’s differences – at one point the narrator pleads “Give me your hands and remember, that enemies were once friends”. The album is infused with a rustic charm. Wood throws banjos, glockenspiels and all kinds of horns into the mix.
One song that doesn’t quite fit is lead single ‘Forever and Ever’. Written in LA rather than Ireland, the upbeat, clap-along chorus is radio-friendly, and has become Wood’s most successful song to date.
In contrast, he’s at his most soulful on the stripped back ‘I’m Afraid’. Here, Wood allows a tremor of bitterness in (“An angel is a demon if she stands around in hell”). He returns to the theme on ‘Promises’ (“Well I once believed in a fairy tale and now I’m holding a coffin nail”) and closes on a note of finality with ‘Pretty One’ (“There’s nothing more for us my pretty one, our story’s done”).
An album about survival, it is arguably Wood’s best work to date.