Cameron Blake’s latest album is an intimate affair which takes an empathetic look at the problems facing the world today
ameron Blake recorded his new album, Alone On The World Stage, at Stone House Recording in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With only his guitar, voice and the occasional piano to aid him, Blake takes an intimate look at the current state of the world, both close to home and across the globe. Framed within the troubadour’s meditative gaze, these reflections come across as both the rallying cry of the protest singer and the more quiet contemplations of a historical commentator.
Blake’s unique position is equally successful when dealing with complicated world issues as it is discussing the trivialities of everyday life. On opening track Rise And Shine he tackles the eternal complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the chorus’ mantra meant as a curing chant to be sung by those caught in the crossfire. Conversely, Piccadilly Circus is a bouncily catchy track dealing with the annoyance of drunkards on a London bus whilst trying to enjoy a night out with his wife.
Throughout the album, Blake’s observational lyrics bring the songs and their characters to life. Looking at the city’s moral decay, Detroit says a prayer for those suffocating in the despair “Like Melinda who forgot how to refuse / the offer of a twin bed in a hotel room”. The nostalgic Home Movie is a heart-breaking piano ballad in which an old man reminisces as he watches old film reels of his life pass by – “And that’s my ring/ And that’s my wife/ And that’s my watch/ And that’s our time”. It is deeply compelling in its simplicity.
Alone On The World Stage is brimming with such moments of powerful poignancy. The sparse instrumentation highlights Blake’s rich vocals and helps to place his lyrics at centre stage, where they belong. This is folk music for those who want their songs to still mean something in the modern age.
Verdict: Delicate songs with a powerful message.
Watch the official music video for the album’s opening track, Rise And Shine, below which ‘tackles the eternal complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’…