With voice a hybrid of Gordon Lightfoot and Roger Whittaker, it is no wonder that Ewen Carruthers has a solid following worldwide and certainly no wonder that When Time Turns Around has gained critical praise from all corners, but the key to this album lies in the songs. Twelve beauties found their way here, each a story in itself and presented in a simple, straightforward style pretty much missing in today's world of music. They are more toward the middle of the road than you might think, but they are Carruthers, pure and simple.
The Amber Room gives musical insight to the last days of the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia. Knowing they will die, they await word from the reloutionary powers, treasuring every last second together with their family and enjoying their last moments in the Amber Room, an incredible wonder in itself (dismantled by the Germans during World War II). Lost and gone, Carruthers recreates its magnificence not in the description of the room, but in the wonder it created in two people, very much in love, in their final days.
The Holocaust is presented by the portrait of Rubenstein in Rubenstein Remembers, more a look at the man and his reluctant memories than the tragedy itself. There is no way any human could go through such a horror and not be broken. Carruthers understood and presents just that point.
One of the more modern style songs is The Message about leaving a message on the moors he walked with his son and daughter in 1992. A beautiful melody supported by stellar acoustic backing, it really shines.
Plenty more stories are here: one about Paris, one about Renoir, one about sailors lost at sea. They are stories, like I said, and a part of who Carruthers is. And they are worth hearing for that reason alone.
All twelve songs hit their mark and there are probably numerous reasons. Strum just is not in Carruthers' vocabulary and he finger-picks his way through each song. It is not only apt, but necessary. It wouldn't sound quite right any other way. Production is masterfully handled by Gunter Pauler (listen to it on headphones and you will understand). The backing musicians and vocalists are not only spot on, but are so beautifully recorded you almost miss it.
Hey, I don't normally listen to this style of music, but When Time Turns Around I give a big thumbs up. It takes something to convert me. This is quite a bit better than something.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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