Terence Blacker – Playing For Time

Album Review | Talking Cat Recordings | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Perhaps this album should be called Playfully Playing for Time, as there’s a good deal of playfulness in Terence Blacker’s lyrics, which cover some of today’s hot topics.  That playfulness has come at the right time when we all need some light relief, where just a certain turn of phrase can serve as a potent tonic.  Recorded with a group of Italian musicians in southern Italy, the songs on Playing for Time are treated to some fulfilling musicianship, notably Hartmut Saam’s informed accordion playing.

Some of the song titles speak for themselves, “Fake News” “Europa, Mein Amour” and “Me Too” for instance, each of which tackle their subject with humour and warmth, avoiding pointless attack or sour grapes, in fact, I’d go as far to say that “Me Too” is song writing of a Loudon Wainwright III standard.  If “Europa, Mein Amour” is a reluctant, if heartfelt farewell to our neighbours and is effectively bang up to date in its sentiment, then “The Sha-La-La-La Song” is a homage to our yesterdays, when life seemed much simpler, a radio under the bedclothes and the Everlys giving us hope for a brighter future and maybe the birth of one or two baby songs along the way.

Choice Track: Me Too (NSV 499)