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Brian Cope of Folk London

reviews Looking Both Ways by George Papavgeris

Looking Both. Ways is the eighth CD by singer songwriter extraordinaire George Papavgeris and once again he proves himself to be a perceptive observer, interpreter and chronicler of 21st century life and times.

The common thread of the CD, referred to in the album's notes, is the concept of Multiple Perspectives, each with their own validity yet each also limited in the view they can afford. Throughout the fourteen tracks he reflects upon a multiplicity of themes, supported by a group of versatile musicians including Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, Paul Sartin, Peter Flood and the Tindall Family, whose various talents are utilized to support imaginative, considered arrangements.

Opening with the somewhat cynical ‘Handmedowns’ George's observations range between love and war and social and cultural differences all delivered unsentimentally, with sincerity and passion. The anthem like quality of ‘Miracle of Life’ the deceptive simplicity of 'Love of a Sort' the bigotry and intolerance surrounding ‘Daniel & Eyse’ and the celebration of the commonplace `Street Life ' is recorded by George with detailed reverence. With more than a nod to his Greek roots ‘Erotokritos’ ' is a translation by George of an excerpt from the traditional Cretan epic poem about the parting of lovers put to a traditional Cretan tune. George has also included a reworking of his powerful song `Thieves Innocence ' from an earlier album `Life As Usual '. Sadly this denunciation of the militarisation of children in armed conflict remains all too relevant. The quality of dreams changing with age, captured in `Life’s Dreams - The Art of Kite Flying' has become my favourite track, on what has proved to be an absorbing, thought provoking collection of songs, with the memorial fnal track `The Last Song' destined I'm sure, to bring to a close many a wonderful session.