‘Deep Blue’ is Martyn’s sixteenth studio album. (with his live collections, collaborations with ‘FFA’ and ‘Best Of’ it comes to 22!). Those who have heard it before the release are talking about it being the man’s best yet.
Whilst retaining the ‘Whoever It Was…’ feel of one man and a guitar slicing through your life and emotions, it takes that and adds a little more. Beautiful arrangements by Nigel Hopkins, and, on some tracks bass and drums from Andy Coughlan and Ryan Aston, add power to MJ’s ‘one take and don’t mess with it’ sound. With artwork by Juno award winning Canadian designer Michael Wrycraft, this will end up a classic.
BBC Wales Review
Now on his 16th studio album (his 22nd in total, including live collections, compilations and collaborations), Martyn Joseph’s Deep Blue retains the no-frills, few overdubs policy established on his previous album Whoever It Was That Brought Me Here.
It leads to a live, often intimate sound based around a core of guitar, piano, drums and vocals.
In the devil-baiting Six Sixty Six, the anti-war How Did We End Up Here and the weary despair of Yet Still This Will Not Be, there’s a thread of repugnance running through Deep Blue. Martyn even laments the changing face of Wales, in Proud Valley Boy where “Health spas where the body shines/Have now entombed the dripping mines”. But there’s hope at its heart, most notably in the search for salvation and better days in Turn Me Tender.
One of his finest releases to date, Deep Blue will be loved by Martyn Joseph’s ever-growing and loyal following. And with the likes of James Blunt and David Gray making a mint from sensitive songs, there’s clearly a bigger prize for the taking. Major labels? Who needs them anyway?
Joe Gooddenb – BBC Wales