JOHN FORRESTER – The Former Me (IRR103)

The Former MeJohn Forrester is a man with a plan and The Former Me represents a stepping stone, the bridge between the excellent 2014 album Outsider and a body of new work due for release in 2017. Despite a long song writing career, this is the first album Forrester has recorded completely solo and you sense something cathartic happening during the process. This album is kept simple; no backing vocals, bass or other instruments just the songs in their raw state reflecting a solo performance.

The Former Me is a re-recording of songs previously released by Forrester updated to the style in which he now presents them live. At one stage during this retrospective period he took himself off to Cornwall and evidently found himself as the inspiration of such a location shines through.

The album opens with the heartfelt ‘Dive In’ followed by the slight chords of ‘Pure’ a contrast that amply illustrates the breadth of song writing flair and sets the tone of the album. Forrester’s songs have a strong sense of location & motion reflected in a mood of resolution and regret, touched with the odd spot of poison & wonder; the result is a bare album enabling appreciation of lyrics and song structure together with his distinctive guitar style.

The earnest delivery of tracks such as ‘Number Twenty Six’ and ‘Don’t Sleep Easy’ illustrate a man closing a chapter on his musical journey and the inclusion of a couple of carefully chosen expertly delivered covers, ‘Stop Talking’ originally written by Mark Burgess of the Chameleons and ‘Allelujah’ by Mark Nevin is another step passed you feel.

The album concludes with the excellent ‘Say Goodbye’; thankfully it is more au revoir as we await the opening of the next John Forrester chapter that is currently being recorded and is due for release next year.

Simon Goodale

Artist’s website: http://forrester.uk.com/

‘Into Another Life’ – live in February 2016:


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