There are things that make life worthwhile. Things like beer, curry and 4.2 litre V8 petrol engines. Things like Alison Eales and her album “Mox Nox”.
Maturity is the core concept in “Mox Nox“ and the execution of said concept is never less than elegant. Much thought has clearly been given to reinforcing the fragile, often reflective, songs contained therein by the addition of supportive and sinuous arrangements and it is not often these days that an independent release can draw together the necessary talent to make an album that revels so much in the benefits of complexity.
Alison Eales also seems to favour the path that strays to the norm and, while she would never knowingly accelerate into the abyss of artistic overcompensation, “Mox Nox” neatly demonstrates that there is more to a song than merely taking it to the bridge. It is that very avoidance of taking the easy way out that gives this album its legs for, while the pace is often casual, all that is here flows like a river forever in motion. Her voice, as the vessel of the spell, has a lightness that might suggest candy floss yet her way of making the lyrics live a life of their own indicates that she has learned much from her time in bands like Butcher Boy.
Sensitively presented, “Mox Nox” is an album that will remind you of the power that music has to entrance. Alison Eales is therefore to be commended for doing what many would consider unfashionable and that is making an album for grownups.
Best song: the hypnotic “Through Hoops”.
Verdict: Polished to the point of eloquence.