February has been a discovery month of great and deeply moving music. With so much choice, it was difficult to choose only one album to laud. However, needs must. Hollie Cook deserves all the praise in the world for her masterful second album TWICE, originally released in May 2014.
Combining new reggae, dub and violins creates a seamlessly rich soundscape. The balance of bass, percussion and strings in reggae style makes for a listening experience which goes beyond anything I have experienced before. When you listen to Twice, you will be overwhelmed by the imaginative but subtle blend of intruments and music styles.
If you love Grace Jones and Sly & Robbie (ex Black Uhuru) as much as I do, you’ll notice how heavily Hollie Cook has been influenced by them. This of course shows her to be a woman of exceptional taste. Listening to track 3 (Desdemona) and Track 6 (Looking for Real Love), one can immediately hear aspects from Jones’ Nightclubbing (at 1.43). Of course, this is part of the reason why Hollie Cook’s Twice has made album of the month.
Another more personal reason is to honour my father (he helped me to build Cedric Suggests, styled its appearance and even helped me to name it. I am beyond grateful for his instrumental role in making this, once but a pipe dream, become a reality. And sharpish. He came to visit me in Warwick a few weeks ago to see Hollie Cook live at the Birmingham 02 Academy earlier this month.
Holly is as stunning LIVE as she is on vinyl. Backed by a wonderfully hard-working ultra-synchronised band (they even backed up the guest artists before Holly came on) she completely blew us away. Hers is the kind of music which leaves one in a trance state of pure joy.
TWICE is a masterful compilation of tracks which leave one desperately wanting more. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Listen and listen well to the rich combinations of sound in Cook’s work. They will mesmerise and astound.