Archie Roach album


(Liberation Music)


archie-resCountless songwriters use adversity as a catalyst for composing, even subconsciously wallowing in it because they can’t write without it. Archie Roach is one of the rare birds in this business to treat adversity as a challenge to be transcended. In Roach’s scheme it is not enough just to survive or cope: one must rise up, Phoenix-like, from whatever roasting life dishes out. Before you even absorb a line of a lyric on Let Love Rule you can hear this in his voice: an implicit solidity, resilience and immeasurable warmth of humanity, such that were I the Fates, I’d go and pick on a meaner spirit.

All songs on this tenth album deal with love in its many guises, with some of the most potent statements being laments for the withering of our compassion. Even then Roach is neither judgmental nor political, rather gazing at our foibles with a paternal benevolence. Among the diverse guests on this second collaboration with producer Craig Pilkington are two choirs, and when they join in the transcendence seems complete.