I’ve not listened to this album for at least a year, and before that, plays of it came randomly and somewhat far apart.
That’s a shame really, because every time I hear this album I tell myself I should play it more often. I really like this album. I like Fretwell’s outwardly northern vocals. I like his similarly bleak northern lyrics and songwriting ability and I like his voice.
Perhaps one of the reasons I don’t listen to it that often is that it doesn’t suit every occasion. It’s something to put on and enjoy at high volume in solitude. It’s a little melancholy in parts but the majority of it is modestly optimistic; even if as is the case with “Run” the lyrics seem to be describing a damaged, yet sincere and sad relationship.
I personally (and somewhat controversially) think that when Fretwell is on form he is potentially England’s answer to Dylan. As I am a huge Dylan fan, that’s not an easy thing to say, but certain parts of this album show huge chasms of Dylan-esque potential. As controversial as I know some people might find that statement, I stand by it.
Regardless of how people may interpret it, I do love this album and although I might not listen to it over and over or every week, I’m certain I’ll always have a copy of it with me till the end of my days.
He has done a second album, which is also quite good, but for me, Magpie will always be the stand out record (unless of course he betters it with a 3rd album – EPs aside).
I’ve put a couple of tracks below for your listening pleasure. If you like them, then please go and buy the album.