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29 October 2014

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Somerset Sounds - Reviews

Group 4
Keith from Group 4

Review: Fret by Group 4

Jonathan Bennett
BBC Somerset reviewer Jonathan Bennett checks out Fret, an album by Group 4 from Othery on the Levels.

If you're looking for an album to pick you up, then I seriously suggest you avoid Group 4's Fret.

However, if you want to sit down, chill out and go on a journey of emotions and feelings, then it is definitely worth a listen... but you'll need to stick with it!

The music gripped me

The album sets the style of music right from track one, called Where You Live, where you know you are in for a very personal experience from the songwriter's (Keith Allen) point of view.

Unfortunately, I found the first few tracks rather weak and a bit too personal: you could almost sense the bitterness in Keith's mind and that the songs were an attack on whoever had made him feel this way. This may not have been the case, but it was definitely the feeling I got.

Group 4
Richard from Group 4

On the plus side though, the album really picks up through the tracks. Since my Life Fell Apart and I Went to Church see the lyrics distancing themselves from depression and seeing a lighter side - something that you can relate to a little more.

By the time you hit I Never Wanted to Come (which for me is by far the best track on the album), you really feel part of the journey that this album is trying to take you on.

The lyrics are still about personal experiences, and it wouldn't make sense to have them any other way, but they seem to invite you to share the anguish they are expressing.

At this point, I actually found myself singing along, and actually meaning it! Who I was singing about didn't matter - the fact was, the music had gripped me!

Feeling part of the album

From there on in, you feel part of the album, and I found I was intently listening to the lyrics of every other song to find out what happened.

Strangely, after listening to this album, it didn't leaving me feeling that down (as I could imagine it might to some), in fact it made me feel quite uplifted.

We have all suffered pain through relationships of some sort, but during that second half of the album, I felt slightly reassured that I wasn't the only one who had!

The lyrics hit a chord with reality and generalise themselves, so you can put your own memories and thoughts to them.

And after all, that is the point of music, isn't it? To make you feel a part of it?

last updated: 07/12/05
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Sarah Balfour
I found myself singing along to this album after about the second play, and now find snatches of songs going round in my head at odd times of the day (or night)! Not something that has happened with many albums I've bought. The lyrics are simple and original and I certainly don't think the album is at all depressing or bitter. I also want to spread the word of this album as far as I can and I look forward to Group 4's next offering. I hope they will be doing some gigs I can get to in the not too distant future!!

andy kelly
I bought Fret a couple of months ago abd since then I have not been able to stop listening to it! The lyrics may be personal but we've all been there so we can all relate to them as well. Keith Allens voice is one the best I have heard in recent years, and I don't think I would streching the point too far by saying Fret is one of the best albums I have heard this year! They deserve a lot of recognition and I for shall spreading the word of Group 4 as far as I can!

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