Thursday, 6 August 2015

CD Review: The In-Between

“There are worlds that you’ve never dreamed of…“

Laura Tisdall’s self-penned musical The In-Between received the concept album treatment back in 2012 but has remained unproduced since then. An original story about 19 year old orphan Flick Wimple and the dilemma she faces when an unexpected move places her in the space between parallel worlds – The In-Between – and she’s given the choice to leave all her problems behind but at no small cost to the older sister who has raised her. Helping her on her way is Calicus, someone who has guided many along a similar path but sees something different in Flick.

Musically, it cleaves a little too close to the pop-rock genre for my personal taste. It’s also hard to replicate that sound effectively on disc and so the production can sometimes sound a little cheap, especially in the opening couple of tracks. That said, Dianne Pilkington and Cassie Compton bring a real sense of character to the feisty ‘She’s My Sister’. The more keyboard-based songs feel stronger – Lauren Samuels’ gorgeously evocative voice is an ideal fit for the stirring ‘Someone You’d Be Proud Of’ and as the song expands to an epic reach, it’s hard not to think she’d be a great Flick. 

And midway through the collection, we get perfect examples of how this kind of concept album format can really catch fire – Julie Atherton’s ‘When I Was Nineteen’ and Hadley Fraser’s ‘Beyond The Door’ are both extraordinary tracks, real atmosphere building out of the interpretative skills of both performers and enhancing Tisdall’s writing perfectly. That both characters singing here have already appeared on the album already by this point, albeit less effectively for me, exemplifies the Revels-bag nature of this approach – sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, but it’s always interesting. Worth a listen I’d say.

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