Johnny Flynn - Sweet William EP
Craig Broad 10/12/2009
The release of 'A Larum' in 2008 was a huge piece of momentary bliss for Johnny Flynn with said album being stated as the new force in folk music and making its way onto many journalists albums of the year. This EP, 'Sweet William EP' is somewhat a stop-gap, with four new tracks to tease fans and to stop the media forgetting about him before the release of his follow up album in 2010.
It all stays in familiar lands for Johnny Flynn with literally nothing changing from the style of his debut album. For fans of Johnny Flynn, this will probably only be a good thing and you can already sense that reviews will point towards Flynn becoming the next Bob Dylan. 'Drum' is the standout track in the 'Sweet William EP', its slow brooding drumming well suited alongside Flynns baritone vocals and bittersweet lyrics only lifted by majestic trumpets in the chorus, 'Drum' isn't exactly pushing the envelope but it is one of the most intelligently written songs you'll hear this year. EP opener, 'The Mountain Is Burning' follows closely behind in quality, with beautiful violin melodies seething in and out with a rousing American Civil War feel as Flynn morbidly sings "The end hasn't happened as the mountain is burning" in the chorus.
The problem is and always has been with Flynn that while he has touches of brilliance, you can often find that you are wishing songs to end. It has also been done before and if Johnny Flynn is put up next to Mercury Prize Nominee Fionn Regan, then I personally will pick Regan everytime because to put it quite simply, Regan is more immaginative and memorable. Folk is a strange genre and can both open you up to fans and alienate you at the same time, 'Sweet William EP' will keep Flynn close to his fans but I can't see him pushing into the mainstream market like Mumford & Sons have managed to achieve this year.
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