The Magic Lantern - A World In A Grain of Sand

The Magic Lantern

A World In A Grain Of Sand

Released: June 6 2011

Genre:  Experimental Folk

Label: Hectic Eclectic Records

Rating: 4.5/5


By Diether Scholten

The Magic Lantern just released a new album, and as if that wasn´t enough they´ve pretty much decided to release a new style of music with it. The music that accompanies this album has been labeled as “experimental folk”. Probably everyone can agree on the folk- but the experimental part can only be down to the vast comprehensiveness of the album.

The opening track, Somebody Told Me, brings a Noah and the Whale-like atmosphere to the table due to a folky cavaco and handclapping. This is contradicted by the melancholy and dream-like vocals present throughout Cut From Stone and Laura’s Song.

The Ship That Washed Away begins in a similar style as Somebody Told Me – but halfway through shades of jazz are introduced, later followed by an eruption of wild, uncontrolled avant-garde-like jazz – evoking memories of the crescendo to A Day in the Life by The Beatles.

A more calming composition is offered though Guilty Hearts, which opens with some beautiful cello-work which, again at the halfway point, bursts into a bombastic ode to percussion and the cavaco.
The Magic Lantern demonstrate their swinging diversity in Shine a Light, and deliver fast-paced guitar-jazz in Patriots.

A Man & His Dog gives a break from heavy instrumentals – as it focuses on storytelling .The Bridge is a symphonic and harmonious composition featuring the vocals of Jamie Doe, Fred Thomas, Lucy Railton and Phil Stevenson – accompanied by Dave Schulman’s clarinet, a true ode to the band.

After all this diversity the album comes to a closure with some melancholic slow-jazz in Romeo and Juliet

Well, all these different genres and styles mixed into 11 tracks makes for a joyful listening experience, but surely all the craziness will distort your regular listening pleasure? The answer is that no, it won’t. The transitions within each song – and between songs for that matter – are wonderfully composed. Despite the dynamicity of A World In A Grain of Sand it sounds as natural as your day-to-day folk.

A simple conclusion would be that The Magic Lantern really did try to put the entire world in one grain of sand. Whether or not you can handle the entire world in such a small amount of listening time is down to the listener.

The Magic Lantern – The Bridge