Vegas opens a new chapter in the remarkable career of Martyn Joseph. Take your seats for the rollercoaster ride of light and shade we have come to expect from the powerful Cardiff singer songwriter. Never allowing himself to be pigeon holed, Vegas steps out and makes some bold statements of Martyn?s intent to keep pushing the boundaries. More electric and edgy, sometimes fragile, sometimes robust,Vegas has a transatlantic yet universal feel.
MOJO review – 4 stars
Britain’s best-kept secret goes on the attack
Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph is one of Britain’s most underrated talents. He had a hit 25 years ago with a song about dolphins and seems to have been filed under “wet” ever since. In reality, he’s a challenging songwriter and a compelling courageous live performer. This forthright album – cleverly balancing a menacingly Spartan production with angry vocals, broody electric guitar and stirring narrative songs – demands reclassification. Strange characters weave in and out of its colourful human scenarios. The title track is the story of a lonesome cab driver, while The Fading of Light is a modern Desolation Row and Nobody Loves You Any more a coldly fierce epitaph to a shamed leader – just fill in your own name. But it’s the musical spaces Joseph daringly inserts which make the difference, giving the album its brooding tension and intensity.
Colin Irwin – March 2008
“This album shows a songwriter at the top of his game – 10 glorious tracks of total originality – I think it is probably the best album he has ever produced”
Maverick 4* review
“Brilliant-he’s broken all the rules – this is unlike anything you’ve heard before from Martyn Joseph. He just gets better and better” –
BBC Wales – Frank Hennessy’s Celtic Heartbeat
“He has produced the sonic equivalent of chiaroscuro- as joyous as it is dark, as hopeful as it is damning, Vegas is another triumph for Joseph.
In the title track he shows his mastery of both lyricism and arrangement, crafting unique tales of life within the neon oasis, weaving lines like “A million angels with stories/Blade Runner without the rain” around thick, layered guitars”
Like Springsteen or Woody Guthrie he’s not frightened to get stuck into matters political as evinced by gusty Iraq war protest song The Fading of Light;his best moments are when mournfully addressing simple human issues as in the swelling slow burner Kindness”