Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs
Follow The Big Takeover
This is something to hear, and with good reason. While you may be unfamiliar with the name The John Williams Syndicate, you will instantly recognize a connection to some of the most important recorded music of the past four decades. This outfit is a project by producer, and indispensable A&R man John Owen Williams (worth a Google). John, is responsible for the production on albums by The Housemartins, Alison Moyet, The Almighty, along with essential BBC sessions for The Killing Joke, The Cure and Simple Minds. In truth, the music he produced is known to us all, and now he is releasing his debut album which is something special. However, it is worth noting The Syndicate is a gathering of some indispensable musicians and vocalists, who together help John create this sculpture.
The long-player Out Of Darkness is a collection of songs that vibrate with an honest positivity. With themes that transcend love, fusing hope and inspiration into our everyday existence. It is a record that acts as a celebration of the best parts of humanity, something that the last eighteen months have shown us all. And the uplifting zeitgeist arrives at the start. The first track “Loud And Clear” pins the colours to the mast early on. With lyrics such as “Loud and clear you shine, like the moonlight.”, the oozing of infectious melodies becomes instantly addictive. The first of the artists which make up the Syndicate enters the frame on “New Flag” with the ageless Petula Clark. Both artists collaborated in the past on the lady’s recent solo outings, here though the chemistry they have built up together shines. The acoustics glisten, an electric guitar line releases some drama, but the vocals of both compliment each other in a subtle ‘call and response’. The song acts the sunshine breaking through darkness, and a welcome warmth from an old friend.
Truthfully, there is little to complain about here if anything. For fans of melodic, fresh music then this is a go-to release. For a debut album it is so fully-formed that it rewrites our expectations of new artists. Then again, John Owen Williams has paid his dues in the music industry already, and luckily has handed us a stunning piece of work to enjoy.
1.Loud and Clear
2.New Flag (With Petula Clark)
3.Luminescent (With Claudia Brücken)
4.Close to You
5.You’re on My Mind (With Isabella Coulstock)
6.Spanish Song (With Isabella Coulstock and Slicko Dicaprio)
7.You Got Me from Hello
8.Never Want to Be Without You (With Amber Prothero)
10.Don’t Give Up on Me (With Claudia Brücken)
More in recordings