Paul Leonard-Morgan - Filmtales

Matt Churchill 09/11/2007

Rating: 4.5/5

Paul Leonard-Morgan is a Glasgow based musical genius; but it is most likely to be the case that you've never heard of him. With string arrangements that could turn sinners into saints, the two times Bafta winner and Ivor Novello nominee brings us his first entirely solo record.

The ethereal experience of 'Wilderness' (featuring the velvet voice of Isobel Campbell) is an airy dream-like opening to a wonderfully sculpted album. With its twinkling pianos and wandering double bass line, the track eases through speakers to create the ultimate mind utopia. U.N.K.L.E like strings open 'Seen From The Outside' which leads into the most euphoric crescendo put to binary this year and the stand out track of the CD.

'Sienna' is a gorgeous example of how soft piano and almost-but-not-quite dance drum rhythms can come together to create a wonderful sonic soundscape that few artists can boast to have in their armoury. An aggressive twist to the otherwise passive 'Snatcher', 'Like A Bullet Through The Head' is a dark and twisting track which is filled with feelings of insecurity and wariness.

The smooth grind of 'Camera' is as sexy as anything Morcheeba have cranked out, and 'No Peace Of Mind' sits on the edge of an explosion, but dangles its feet into the water before quickly removing them with a particularly nonchalant shake of the head. The almost angry 'Elektra' is followed by the acoustic guitar led 'Sweet Denial', a moonlit sonata for the 21st century. Album closer 'Standing Up' teeters on the brink of becoming a chug-chug ambient house cum soft rock tune, but steers away with some clever guitar and keyboard-string interplay.

He may quietly go about his work, but Paul Leonard-Morgan is making a loud noise with this record - despite the success of his film scores, until now he's not put out an LP under his own name. This album is a beautiful tapestry of colours, sounds and sights which given the right support should propel him into the nation's conscience.