Bill Ryder-Jones - If... Review

Those Liverpool mystics "The Coral" were always a smart bunch of musicians with tunes to spare and PhD's in clever pop songs. They could incorporate all styles in their music from Cossack rhythms to Howlin Wolf blues. Amongst there number was a young guitarist by the name of Bill Ryder Jones who left the band in 2008 and has since collaborated with such luminaries as Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys and Blur's Graham Coxon. This is Ryder Jones first solo album and it is at this point that a concept album alert is issued since it is a musical adaptation of Italo Calvino's 1979 postmodernist novel "If on a Winters Night a Traveller" an intriguing tome about the hunt for a mysterious book. This is a title that was also purloined for another album this time by the Tantric Geordie minstrel Sting, which if truth be told can't hold a candle to this astonishing debut.