Joshua Burnell is an artist who has never been afraid to push his boundaries as a songwriter and musician. Many will know him as a Folk/Rocker from his previous releases 'Into The Green', 'Songs From The Seasons' and 'The Road to Horn Fair '. However, many will have noted the subtle shift in style in his last album, 'Flowers Where The Horses Sleep' and with Glass Knight' he has furthered that shift to create a wholly original sound that harks back to his musical roots.
The bombastic opener ‘Where Planets Collide’ is a full on folk rocker that uses the medium of science fiction to deal with human kind’s relationship with technology, which is quite timely given the current proliferation of AI software. The upbeat pop-style tempo of ‘When the Last Rain Falls’ continues the science fiction theme using it to look at the devastation of climate change and the effect on those facing their own self-made apocalypse.
Returning to his folk roots, ‘Glass Knight’ is an updated re-telling of an old folk tale from Saffron Walden which again finds relevence in today’s society. Burnell’s imagination flourishes on ‘Looking Glass’. A clever and emotive twist on the tale of Snow White, it tells the story from the magic mirror’s point of view.
Self-produced and written by Burnell, ‘Glass Knight’ finds the artist really coming into his own. Sonically there are elements of David Bowie and the progressive sound of Jeff Wayne, still underpinned by his love of folk. Featuring encompassing engrossing and captivating lyrics the songs are accessible and Burnell’s skill as a storyteller is immense as he leads the listener through various scenarios using the past, present and future to explore contemporary themes.
The rousing ‘Lucy’ pays tribute to an imaginary rock star. With all the fun and swagger of a 1940’s beer hall sing along the chorus is sure to be a crowd pleasing end of the night song that sends the audience home with an earworm and smile on their face. While the gentle introspective ballad ‘Moonlighter’s Child’ ends the album on a thoughtful note that displays maturity and wisdom in Burnell’s lyrics.
‘Glass Knight’ is an all engrossing and magical listen from start to finish that showcases the incredible talents of the artist. Surpassing all his work to date it’s Joshua Burnell’s best work yet.