Roy Harper’s first album in 13 years is an absolute corker on which he runs the gamut from cutting protest songs (Cloud Cuckooland, which lays into vacuous celebs and bankers) and sweet balladry (January Man) to mystical folk odysseys (the 23-minute suite Heaven Is Here and The Exile, nearly the equal of The Same Old Rock from Stormcock). I particularly like The Stranger, which finds him staring into the mirror at “some old ghost”, and the way the initially wistful Time Is Temporary heads off into a bluesy jam with a banjo. The album boasts arresting string arrangements throughout which could almost have been done by the late Robert Kirby, and the fluid electric guitar and booming fretless bass on the last track are gorgeous. Seventy-two not out: a great record.
First page of the Roy Harper archive.