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8 out of 10
Once again the singularly prolific voice of Fife's wayward son makes it to a rotating disc somewhere, his first since the Haunted Year re-issues during 2009. And what dark joy it is, with sparkling collaborations; co-producer David Wrench on the hauntingly beautiful Island, the stunning chorus that is Ghost Voices of the Kursk on the title track and folk colossus Ralph McTell on Cornelius Whalen.
Cut through with Leven's customary dry humour - although without his infamous anecdotes (best see the man live for those) - Gothic Road sways through a variety of subjects and a variety of styles, from Country swagger about feeling up Patsy Cline in a church (Absolutely Joan Crawford. . .), through lazy James Taylor-ish Folk (Song For Bass Guitar and Death) to drum machine-driven hilarity about celebrity status in Germany (Hotel Mini Bar). If you've not travelled with Jackie before, I suggest you begin your journey here.
1. Gothic Road
2. Last of the Badmen
3. John Paul Getty's Silver Cadillac
4. Cornelius Whalen
5. Song For Bass Guitar and Death
6. New Wreath
7. Absolutely Joan Crawford (With A Bit of Tilda Swinton On The Side)
8. My Lost Blonde
9. In A Shivering Blaze
10. Hotel Mini Bar
11. Shadow of a Man