Roddy Woomble | My Secret Is My Silence (Pure UK/import only)

cd_woomble"It makes me feel free to do anything," Woomble sings on "Every Line of a Long Moment," and I can't help but think, yes, that's what a good song will do.

 

 

 

 

 

Over four albums, fans have heard Scottish quintet Idlewild shift from brash punk-pop to indie folk. My Secret Is My Silence, Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble's solo debut, was promoted as the singer/songwriter's embrace of his poetic folk roots; in reality, it actually sounds like the next Idlewild album in the band's progression. And that's not a bad thing.

Present are all the poetic insights and turns of phrase we've all come to expect from Woomble, as well as the continuation of his collaboration with Scottish poet laureate Edwin Morgan. And following Idlewild's 2006 American tour with Inara George, it's no surprise to find the female folkster sharing the mic with Woomble on more than one occasion here.

After the mellow intro that is "I Came In From the Mountain," Woomble gives us the roots rocker "As Still as I Watch Your Grave," which devolves into a fiddle free-for-all. After sharing the title track with George, Woomble provides inspiration in "Act IV" with "if you could only see all the things I saw/ on the walk back towards home." Voices raised in unison open "From the Drifter to the Drake," which neatly blends Scottish folk and fast-paced indie rock.

Continuing his reflection on names (see also Idlewild's last couple albums) are "If I Could Name Any Name" and "Under My Breath." The former finds Woomble ruminating, "You know where you are at the end of the alphabet/ when letters run out and you're stuck with your name," the latter speculating, "If you could choose your surname/ from the color of the clouds." After the instrumental, jig-inducing "Whiskeyface," Woomble returns to his strengths with the uplifting, empowering "Waverley Steps." "At least the light is mine always," he sings in this soaring anthem.

"It makes me feel free to do anything," Woomble sings on "Every Line of a Long Moment," and I can't help but think, yes, that's what a good song will do. Cheers, Roddy, for the gift of this album, these thoughts, and that beautiful voice. B+ | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Idlewild, The Frames, Nick Drake

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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