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Brendan Perry - Eye of the Hunter (4AD)

"If you don't recognise me
Well it's simply because
I've outgrown these old clothes
Time to move on" - Voyage of Bran

With the demise of Dead Can Dance, Brendan Perry has moved on, 'though it is also true to say that within DCD he never stood still. "Eye of the Hunter" is an extension of the part of DCD that was Brendan's own, tracks like 'American Dreaming'. Over the years, Brendan has honed his vocal abilities on the complex and difficult songs that were DCD standards. On "Eye of the Hunter", he turns this considerable vocal skill on songs that are relatively more straight-forward.

Foremost is Brendan's singing and guitar, ably backed by bass, drums and steel guitar. Gone are the ethnic instruments and the world music experimentation. Gone also is the lyrical complexity of tracks like 'Fortune Presents Gifts…', replaced by a more fluid and natural between words and melody, where neither overwhelms the other. This is most evident in the cover of Tim Buckley's 'Must Have Been Blind', which takes the place of the formerly obligatory 16th Century Latin canto or Gaelic ballad.

In other words, this is NOT Dead Can Dance. While we may mourn the passing of the combined brilliance of Brendan, Lisa and Peter, we can also celebrate the freeing of each individual talent and watch them grow in their separate directions. "Eye of the Hunter" is a beautiful collection of vocal tracks with a subtle backing that points strongly in the direction of a brilliant solo career for Mr Perry.

Donnacha DeLong

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