Charlie Winston – Running Still (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 53:14 minutes | 641 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Real World
“My sole objective on the album Running Still was to be able to engage people’s feet first and slowly rise to the mind,” says Charlie Winston. “So by the time they get absorbed in the lyrics, they’re fully engaged but realize there’s something more going on.”
Opener ‘Hello Alone’ makes for an inviting call, a shared solitude, if you will, that’s at the root of the art experience. But the next song, ‘Speak to Me’, makes it clear that no one should limit Winston in terms of expectations, the all-vocal beat-boxed tour de force showing one of his many facets, with more to come. The snappy ‘Happiness’ offers soulful yearning, while ‘The Great Conversation’ is in fact a chat with Beethoven, one of Winston’s musical heroes, whose Moonlight Sonata can be found within the tune, though in shards. ‘She Went Quietly’ is a searching piano ballad (inspired by a heart-wrenching tale of separation involving his great aunt and, to lesser though crucial extent, the movie Million Dollar Baby). ‘Until You’re Satisfied’ is ’80s-referencing pop-funk celebrating Winston’s Prince fandom. ‘Lift Me Gently’ is a stand out track for Peter Gabriel – “An amazing song, and possibly the best Charlie has ever written….”. ‘Wild Ones’ is charging blues-rock, ‘Rockin’ in the Suburbs’ is all vibrant energy … and that’s just part of the picture. Not a surprise given that Winston also, with natural ease, refers to such diverse inspirations as Nick Cave, Steve Reich and Jacques Brel (and T.S. Eliot, Wim Wenders and Ingmar Bergman, for that matter) in discussing the album.
Most prominently there’s a sense of joy and discovery throughout the album, which follows up the breakthrough of his 2009 album, ‘Hobo’ – a big hit throughout Europe and Canada.
‘Running Still’ finds Winston and his richly talented band in collaboration with producer Tony Berg (Michael Penn, Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby, Ozomatli) to reach new emotional and sonic colors. The band features drummer Medi, bassist Daniel Marsala and harmonica ace Benjamin “Ben Henry” Edwards along with Winston’s piano and guitar – with keyboard additions from Patrick Warren and a touch of guitar from Tiny B (Berg, under a Winston-bestowed alias).
A virtual unknown in his English homeland but a chart-topping star across the Channel, Cornwall singer/songwriter Charlie Winston followed up his number one sophomore album, Hobo, with an equally eclectic third effort inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Steve Reich, and Jacques Brel. Produced by Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby) and featuring his regular backing band the Oxymorons, Running Still features a track based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (“The Great Conversation”) alongside the single “Hello Alone.” –Jon O’Brien, AllMusic
Charlie Winston isn’t the only compositeur anglais to have acquired a vociferous French following, but he’s the only one in recent times to have had a No 1 album there (2009’s Hobo) while remaining almost unknown in his home country. France has been captivated by the idea that he’s a rakish Anglo troubadour – acoustic guitar, jaunty hat, weatherbeaten voice – with a streak of Gallic seen-it-allness (as made manifest by the line “I sit around drinking coffee all day/ Nothing to do and a little to say” in Speak to Me). The romance of it all doesn’t play quite so well in Britain, but this album is still a palatable addition to the adult-contemporary genre. While his default style is the wronged-Romeo acoustic melancholia of Hello Alone, he’s comfortable and convincing in other styles: Princely electro-funk (Until You’re Satisfied), beatboxing (Speak to Me) and Paul Youngish white soul (Where Can I Buy Happiness?). All that’s keeping him from UK success is the surfeit of similar songwriters, from Chris Rea to his own better-established brother, Tom Baxter. –Caroline Sullivan, The Guardian
01. Charlie Winston – Hello Alone (03:18)
02. Charlie Winston – Speak to Me (03:19)
03. Charlie Winston – Where Can I Buy Happiness (03:43)
04. Charlie Winston – The Great Conversation (04:17)
05. Charlie Winston – She Went Quietly (03:59)
06. Charlie Winston – Unlike Me (03:48)
07. Charlie Winston – Until You re Satisfied (03:24)
08. Charlie Winston – Wild Ones (03:51)
09. Charlie Winston – Making Yourself So Lonely (04:16)
10. Charlie Winston – Rockin in the Suburbs (03:05)
11. Charlie Winston – Summertime Here All Year (05:03)
12. Charlie Winston – Lift me Gently (03:42)
13. Charlie Winston – Army on the Run (03:23)
14. Charlie Winston – Peace One Day (04:00)
Charlie Winston: Vocals, guitar, keys, bass, percussion
Ben Henry Edwards: Harmonicas (acoustic and effected), flutes, percussion
Daniel Marsala: Bass, electric guitar, backing vocals, percussion
Medi: Drums (live and programmed), percussion, bass, backing vocals.
Patrick Warren: Keyboards
Shawn (Shrine LeFunk) Everett: Drum/percussive programming
Elisabeth Penin: Breathy vocal (Satisfied)
Tiny Bee: Guitar (Happiness)
Cockerel: Cockerel (Speak to Me)