Coldest Winter - A Review

Well the album has taken its time arriving but, from the first note of ‘Falling To Bits’, you know it’s been well worth it. A sweeping track that really sums up most towns in the U.K. and yes, Mr. Simpson, I’m with you all the way.

I have listened to some of the demo’s from this album but nothing prepares you for the rich sounds that have been crafted over time. ‘Liquid Mercury’ follows to keep you immersed in the moment and this is quickly followed by ‘Chloroform’ which I listened to awhile back but it’s a track that seems to follow on from the Swans first album. The pace is kept up with ‘In Secret’ which has you flying close to the sun and yes we do see and know what you know. Mr. Simpson you can write classic songs and this album deserves and needs to be listened to – and I’ve listened to it probably far too much – but its just one of those albums where you pick out different things every time you give it a play. ‘English Electric Lightning’ seems to be over oh so soon, but it can’t be, its over 5 minutes long? This is a different version to the single and as I’m listening on my generic mp3 player I find myself singing a little too loud, but who cares this is ‘The Wild Swans’ for Gods sake!

‘When Time Stood Still’ does take you back in time as I can agree with everything that Paul says and then onto ‘Underwater’ which flows straight into ‘Intravenous’ which again wraps its arms around you and takes you on another trip into Paul’s imagination. ‘Glow In The Dark’ is a swirling masterpiece as is ‘My Town’ which I can agree with as Liverpool is changing and not always for the better. ‘Liverpool One’ is just a piece of concrete and glass which will be dated within a decade of its opening.

We are nearly at the end of a journey that has me nearly in tears at the pride and the pain that the Swans have poured into this masterpiece but ‘Lost At Sea’ is pushing me over the edge – a fantastic piece of work and one that I’ll play over and over again. The last track is nigh, ‘The Bluebell Wood’, which I’ve listened to before but this is now the finished version and another classic that should be played to town planners everywhere….. As the ‘Outro’ plays I reflect on the last hour and it’s been one of best hours I spent listening to music for ages.

This is an album of superb craftsmanship both in the playing and the lyrical content, It might not get the acclaim it deserves straight away (I hope I’m wrong) but it will surely become one of the albums of the decade or even the century. I know Paul said he had unfinished business with the ‘Wild Swans’ and he had to put those ghosts to bed. With this album he has done that and so much more, but to us he had nothing to prove. The only thing this proves is that the guy is a genius and I can’t wait for the next one as this can’t be the last swan song surely….?