Deeply personal and poetic collection from seasoned Liverpool artist.
The complex relationship between music and poetry is a fascinating one – and Merseyside singer-songwriter Jenkins has here made a more intimate follow-up to his 2021 album ‘If You Can Forgive, You Can’t Love’. This is a gentle, passionate and emotional collection, where his beautiful poetic lyrics manage to paint some stunning aural pictures, inspired by his fascinating life.
Tuebrook is a part of Liverpool where Jenkins grows up, but he insists that this isn’t an album about the area – rather one that’s inspired by it. The sparse arrangements really do allow his words to come alive, in a truly distinctive way.
We open with ‘Shadows’ – a stunning start. From just voice and acoustic guitar, it gradually builds with some gorgeous, gentle percussion and atmospheric piano, to create a lovely song that grows on you effortlessly. ‘Christopher Roberts’ opens with a fascinating bit of audio of Jenkins as a child being asked about his schooling – it’s about a school friend he had, who he lost contact with. It’s another powerful, deeply personal song, with affecting piano accompaniment and backing vocals.
The wistful tone continues on ‘Maybe I Just Came Along For The Ride‘ – another fantastic tune, which ends abruptly, but so effectively. The album features a number of local musicians including Pippa Murdie (who tours with Jenkins), Chris Howard and Jon Lawton, who also produces. Murdie is particularly good on the background vocals to ‘Idaho’ – with its tragic story – and on ‘Passing Time’. There’s a sound reminiscent of Dave Alvin’s recent acoustic recordings here – with his love of poetry and powerful lyrics – and Jenkins has a similar vocal style on occasion. If you did want to pick a minor quibble, it’s that there isn’t much variety here – but with the quality of the songwriting and performing so high, it’s not really a problem.
This masterful collection highlights why Jenkins is fast becoming one of Liverpool’s most respected singer-songwriters.