First posted on echoesanddust.com.
Seven years after the release of his second studio album Arrows in the Sun, singer-songwriter Martin ‘M’ Craft returns with his third studio album Blood Moon. Craft’s latest album sees the song-writer drawing influence from his residence at Joshua Tree, Mojave, using the landscape surrounding him to build up a strong and surprisingly cohesive album experience. Whilst tracks like ‘Dragonfly’, from the singer’s debut album Silver & Fire gave moderate success and airplay, it seems the performer has abandoned those substantial elements in favour of an arguably more experimental and wholly more pleasing format of music.
Blood Moon comes across as a strong step in Craft’s repertoire. Whilst previous album from the singer were enjoyable in their own right, featuring many common elements of singer/song-writer albums, there was something arguably lacking in the whole album structure. On Blood Moon though, we see Craft anchoring the whole album together with the use of gentle sparse piano notes, structuring everything into an album that flows beautifully from one track to the next. It’s a different Craft to the one some of us might be used too, but it’s one that’s wholly involved himself into something interesting, utilizing everything in the creation of this particular album.
Whilst Blood Moon feels like a more strongly structured album that Craft’s previous works, it does feature the problem of too many similar tracks, mostly in the use of the piano being the general motif of the album experience. This feels mostly apparent in the album’s first half, which introduces everything comfortably, but arguably fails to really deliver for the most part. As the album enters the second half though, we start to see everything really take form, and suddenly the whole album starts to make sense.
It’s arguable that Blood Moon is a little too easy-going, or a bit cheesy in places, but the general impression the album itself leaves is one of calming delight. When the tracks work, we’re presented with something rather delicate and gentle, that isn’t trying to be groundbreaking, but is simply another artistic expression. The straying away from his own earlier style that helped to establish his career may alienate the odd few people here and there, but to some, this is a surprisingly strong album, and one that helps shed new light on this song-writer.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- New Horizons
- Chemical Trails
- Morphic Fields
- Love Is All
M. Craft’s latest album ‘Blood Moon’ is out now.