Vashti Bunyan – Lookaftering
Fat Cat Records 2005
[tags: acoustic, folk, 2005]
Listen while reading:
With one day delay, here is the promised article on Vashti Bunyan’s release for 2005: Lookaftering. I told you that I totally dig Vashti’s Just Another Diamond Day and that it is one of the best releases I found and discovered. Now, over 35 years later, she turns back into music and releases her second debut, so to say. But can it stand a chance in comparison to her first shining diamond?
First of all: Lookaftering is not a solo album in the meaning of being just Vashti Bunyan and her instruments, more likely it is an album featuring many well known artists such as Max Richter, Davendra Banhard, Joanna Newsom or Adem (along with many more). There roles are different and not every musician is always present, but they help to make this album very wide-ranging. The vocals, however, are always sung by Vashti herself, and her voice is as awesome as it ever was – soft and somehow hovering, lulling and always dreamingly relaxed.
The beginning of Feet Of Clay reminds me strongly of her 1970s debut and then switches to a more modern sound with lots of strings and complex instrumental arrangements. I think this track represents the whole album very good by showing both the roots and the present. But all other tracks on Lookaftering are really good as well, there is no single one that is not worth to be on this neat little disc of acoustic folk music. But together with all the positive feelings I have listening to the record, it is not quite the same level of quality as on Just Another Diamond Day.
I don’t mean any harm by saying so, but I think the context sof the albums are quite different because the original hippie era is over and the spirit of her debut came just out of it. Come on, she recorded it in an open commune and she went through the land by trap writing her songs… And now, 35 years later, there is her second outcome. Maybe it is not the right strategy even to compare both albums, but what should one do. I for myself want to be honest with you and I think that Lookaftering is a great acoustic folk record you should get your hands on, but if you want the real deal, you have to listen to Just Another Diamond Day. Lookaftering surely sounds more modern – which is a good thing – but it does not reach the atmosphere of the predecessor (but in 20 years or so, you maybe say that it captured the one of the ’00s, who knows?). But still I highly recommend to enjoy both records – you can’t do wrong.