Bill Ryder-Jones - IF
- Nov 22, 2011
Bill Ryder-Jones erupted onto the music scene in 2002 alongside his band The Coral. Imparting a blend of psychedelic folk-rock and pastoral harmonium into our lives, the Wirral outfit have remained an important part of British music today. However, in 2008, Bill and his boys decided to part company. The band continued on to produce 2010’s critically acclaimed ‘Butterfly House’ and Ryder-Jones has since rejuvenated his career as a composer.
In many ways he was to The Coral what Johnny Greenwood is to Radiohead. The one always pushing boundaries, developing techniques and exploring new concepts. There were obvious elements of Jones’ flourishingly musical aptitude on The Coral’s 2007 effort ‘Roots and Echoes’ – his final output with the band. Greenwood has now established himself as a successful composer with the soundtrack to the Academy Award winning film ‘There Will Be Blood’ earning him BAFTA and Grammy award nominations and it looks like Ryder-Jones’ sights are set on similar accolades.
‘If..’ is written as a composition and tribute to Italo Calvino's novel ‘If on a Winter's Night a Traveller’ - an innovative tale of a reader trying to read a book. The opening and title track on ‘If…’ is a roaming and rousing soundscape which, early on, harks to Carter Burwell and his work on the film ‘In Bruges’.
Ryder-Jones cites Abel Koreniowski’s soundtrack to the 2009 film ‘A Single Man’ as a key influence on this record, and there are clear comparisons to be made within ‘The Reader (Malbork)’, ‘Intersect’ and the anxiety laden ‘Enlance’. The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are also on board to lend a hand on a variety of tracks, ‘Give Me A Name’ being perhaps the most beautiful and lingering of the bunch.
‘Le Grand Desordre’ is the only track which could be likened to work with his previous band and anything of a customary song. He sings: “The brooding river glows, and whips its tortured banks.” It’s a reminder of how something as solitary and simple as a cello, acoustic guitar and sombre vocals can be equally as emotive and stimulating as some of his other grander pieces.
The album screams of a war torn European romanticism with small pot holes of life delicately and desperately breathing through the constraints of something quite sinister. It’s an absolute pleasure to listen to and for any Coral fan, a reminder of the importance he was to the band.