If Wishes Were Horses

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

Kris Dr­ever Re­veal/Planet

A pithy verse em­bed­ded in the ti­tle track of If Wishes Were Horses ex­presses sen­ti­ments that no doubt will res­onate with vot­ers in Australia to­day: “I wish that politi­cians’ ties / would tighten up when they told lies.” Ir­re­sistibly catchy, with funky gui­tar chords, the song typ­i­fies the lit­er­ate and lively brand of con­tem­po­rary folk-acous­tic pop mu­sic that is a hall­mark of Kris Dr­ever’s third solo al­bum. Ev­ery track on the Scot’s finest re­lease is a wee gem, per­fectly ar­ranged and per­formed by the singer- song­writer with con­sum­mate ac­com­pa­ni­ment from a se­lect back­ing crew. Thought­ful re­flec­tions on love and life per­me­ate, in­clud­ing sharp so­ciopo­lit­i­cal ob­ser­va­tions vel­vet-wrapped in Dr­ever’s de­li­ciously dul­cet tone. Hard Year hits a bullseye with its open­ing lines: “Don’t let the TV grind you down; it’s only fear / The world still goes round the sun once ev­ery year.” With only one non-orig­i­nal, the trio Lau’s front­man has given full vent to his song­writ­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Dr­ever is at his most po­etic in The Long­est Day, in higher regis­ter than else­where over a gor­geous McCart­ney-es­que melody ac­com­pa­nied by just gui­tar and drone. A catchy ren­di­tion of the Ed­in­burgh paean Caper­naum fea­tures Dr­ever and fel­low gun Ian Carr’s gui­tars in­ter­lock­ing exquisitely. Louis Ab­bott’s clap­sticks pro­vide an ef­fi­cient pulse to a clos­ing homage to Dr­ever’s na­tive Orkney Is­lands.

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