Sunday, September 23, 2007

Euros Childs - The Miracle Inn

Euros Childs' third solo release The Miracle Inn is his darkest work to date.

Opening track Over You sets the tone with Euros pining for his love. She is implicity located in a pastoral locale while Euros is schlepping about in urban America. Separation will prove to be this CD's salient theme.

Musically the glam-rock inflected Horse Riding is more upbeat but again the object of his affection is out of reach. In a red dress his rural femme fatale symbolises sexual promise. But wouldn't you just know it - she runs off with a tailor at the end! Hey, we've all been there Euros.

In Ali Day he finds refuge in one of his favourite pastoral settings: childhood. Bouncing balls, the fair, melody - not for the first time he uses the familiar diction and landscape of nursery rhyme to delightful effect.

A rare cover version is up next - The Turtles' Think I'll Run Away. Despite the obvious drug references in the original, emphasis here is on escaping into a rural rather than a narcotic utopia. And nice to hear former GZM cohort Richard James on acoustic guitar.

The funereal Outside my Window is also about distance - this time between what is wished for and life's harsh realities. Childs' prime symbol of happiness and optimism - the sun, emerges at the end to bring hope but it doesn't entirely banish the gloom.

The sweet harmonising on pared down Hard Times is tinged with anguish and yearning as Euros once again tries to deal with being physically removed from the object of his desire.

The Miracle Inn is a 15 minute musical suite that in spirit at least recalls Kate Bush's Hounds of Love LP. Here we are taken on a nostalgic trip to the Miracle Inn - a long gone music venue but also a place of youthful possibilities. It all goes a bit cosmic and Syd Barrett in the middle before once again we return (in a dream) to the Miracle Inn. Despite the song's upbeat ending we are left lamenting a loss of innocence.

The CD's killer track is left 'til last. Childs alchemical ability to take a simple lyric and combine it with a beautiful melody to produce something sublime has never been more evident than in Go Back Soon. And thus the CD ends with Euros pining again. Not for a person this time but for a place of: "rockpools and caves that forever shall be".

Ah, such sweet melancholy. The Miracle Inn is released by Wichita and is on sale now.