There are albums that come along, without fuss or hype and grow into our consciousness through word of mouth firstly, then by the immense talent that drips from every note played. Beta by Terence Rowlands is such an album.
From the first notes of the opener ‘Overplayed’, its obvious the Rowlands is passionate about what he’s doing. It just adds a extra spark to the whole thing. Overplayed blends piano, guitar and strings with Rowlands’ honest vocals being centre of attention – and rightly so. The laidback country ‘Junkstore’ follows with its subtly addictive vibe.
Beta is full of acoustic led songs, delicately fused. Despite the fact the Rowlands said ‘It was recorded in stages around the country, in flats, houses and my brothers garage’ and because of this he had to do all the instrumentation separately himself, you don’t get a disjointed feeling at all.
Throughout the album there are indications of where Rowlands influences lie, vocally somewhere between Jason Downs, Adam Duritz and Thom Yorke. Rowlands has used his time to beautifully meld them together to produce something beautiful and quite unheard in a while round these parts.
The uptempo ‘Red Sunrise’ is probably the most instantly accessible of all the tracks. Even at a lengthy 6.41 the track doesn’t let you lose interest. The album boasts such quality its hard to pick standout tracks. Although different tempos, some upbeat, downbeat, Rowlands sincerity is apparent throughout, with thoughful lyrics and musicianship to match on each occasion. My favourite track is probably “My Unsung Song’, simple but melodic, honest and spine tingling.
If you like music, you have to hear this album, Rowlands’ honesty and love for what he is doing shines through. If I could wrap him up and turn him into a star I would. Simply amazing.