November 19, 2007
Cherry Red
Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Album Review

The first career-spanning compilation for one of the U.K.'s most unique pop bands of the 1980s, Leaves That Fall in Spring shows off the Band of Holy Joy in all their peculiar glory. Although the guitar-free band's songs are rooted in British folk music idioms, the Band of Holy Joy never sounded much like, say, Billy Bragg. Closer comparisons include Eyeless in Gaza (singer/songwriter Johnny Brown has a similarly pitch-poor but emotionally expressive voice as that duo's Martyn Bates, and synthesizers were a main element of that band's overall sound) and Prefab Sprout, and in the combination of horns and accordion that decorate the otherwise electronic keyboard-based arrangements, the Pogues. One wouldn't expect the combination of gloomy post-punk, alternately delicate and raucous folk, and sophisticated pop arrangements to work, and to be fair, it quite often didn't. But at 16 songs covering two decades, Leaves That Fall in Spring neatly encapsulates all of the group's most enduring work, ranging from the chaotic shambles of debut single "Rosemary Smith" to considerably smoother and more accessible tunes like the 1993 single "It's Lovebite City." Only the most devoted will need venture far beyond this compilation, but Leaves That Fall in Spring performs an essential function in collecting such a solid précis of this underrated band.
Stewart Mason, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Rosemary Smith
  2. First Hour of Day
  3. Manic, Magic, Majestic
  4. Leaves That Fall in Spring
  5. And Then the Real Thing Comes Along
  6. Prams Piers Bitter Tears
  7. It's Lovebite City
  8. Who Snatched the Baby?
  9. Tactless
  10. Consumption
  11. Capture My Soul
  12. What the Moon Saw
  13. You've Grown So Old in My Dreams
  14. Real Beauty Passed Throuth
  15. The Death of Love
  16. Maybe One Day
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