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If you're familiar with the work of Paul Cook & The Chronicles then you'll be aware that bad luck and heartache are never too far away. That's not to suggest that each release is shrouded in a sense of misery, more that the lyrics are often reflective. You don't wish Paul Cook would stop bloody moaning, you want to reach out and tell him that everything's going to be alright. All three volumes of his "Chronicles" have been subtle, heartfelt, often spellbinding and most importantly very good indeed (newcomers can check out 'Volume 3' from earlier this year by clicking on its name). With no intention of making any sort of seasonal record, Cook finds himself alone this Christmas while his girlfriend visits her home in Sweden for the festive period. Typically, she leaves on his birthday. When Rod Stewart sang 'Some Guys Have All The Luck' he probably wasn't referring to Mr. Cook.
As far as we're concerned, this isn't a bad thing (despite feeling sorry for him), because, as has become customary, Paul Cook has channelled this into a new song, and a free download at that. With the soft voice he possesses, just about every situation can sound wonderful in its own way, and it's this very instrument that turns another potentially gloomy tale into one that sparkles with a sadness that instead makes you want to invite him round yours for Christmas dinner and a few glasses of sherry. More uptempo than normal, 'Wood On The Fire' was apparently written with 'This Charming Man' in mind, although it was never intended to (and doesn't) sound much like The Smiths. However, there is something about the bassline that does call that band to mind, but you'd only really notice if you knew this fact beforehand. So Paul Cook & The Chronicles have accidentally stumbled upon a festive song, and one that breaks away slightly from the usual sound. It'll be lonely this Christmas, but that could well be the catalyst for some more pensive yet beautifully alluring songs, and hopefully our thanks for his music will offer at least some form of consolation.
Paul Cook & The Chronicles' website
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