David Ford - I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused
Reviewed by Simon on 19th October 2005
Having split just over a year ago from his long time band Easyworld, David Ford has re-emerged with a collection of nine songs which set him apart from every other solo musician out there. Thus, comparisons are hard to draw - although the best attempts could perhaps find parallels with the more sultry days of Ryan Adams' career, crossed with the more beautiful and tuneful days of Bob Dylan's youth. However, to try to categorise a talent such as Ford's by connecting him to other artists is to pay a disservice to his first solo opus.
An album of nine extended piano and acoustic guitar led tracks is a brave move for somebody with a full band pedigree such as Ford, who within recent memory has inspired crowds of sweaty youngsters to dance, push and occasionally even crowd-surf whilst with his old band Easyworld (purveyors of mostly pop punk efforts). Such a departure from past endeavours is warranted almost immediately after engaging with "I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused" for the first time however. Opening with the beautiful six and a half minute long future single "I Don't Care What You Call Me" before blending seamlessly into rousing recent single "State Of The Union", the lyrics and passion come instantly to the fore. The breathtakingly stunning mixture of piano, guitar and mouth organ form the foundations for these two tracks (and the next seven to follow) in a way lesser artists can only dream of. Indeed, it only seems right to mention that Ford plays every instrument on the record, most of it having been self-produced in his own house as he set about rebuilding a career for himself post-Easyworld.
Such melancholic times seem to have taken the form of lovelorn and political angst in his songwriting, ultimately displaying maturity which belies his twenty five years of age. At times the album seems to linger almost too long in places, with a certain verse being repeated or a mouth organ solo seeming slightly overextended. Gladly however the problem diminishes with time as the simple things like his subtle alteration of lyrics (not to mention extraordinary talent for the occasional solo) become clearer as the music develops more character and body, in a way akin to that of a fine wine.
Unlike the maturing process required to produce a fine wine, some tracks on the album are instant classics - particularly "Katie", a ballad about paranoia in a relationship, and the epic "Laughing Aloud" which closes the album in a hail of building tension and glorious vocals. At over eight minutes long, the track draws comparison with Ryan Adams' "Nobody Girl" without ever appearing to have taken its lead in either structure or beauty.
For a debut solo effort, "I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused" deserves both warm praise and international attention. The album exudes an appeal which ought to encompass and ultimately enthral fans of his past incarnation whilst attracting fans of other acoustic led singer songwriters (such as Ryan Adams, Stephen Fretwell, Damien Rice and Bob Dylan), yet it should still manage to introduce them all to something new and exciting in their musical spectrum. Indeed, David Ford has unleashed the most tender slow-burning masterpiece of the year on the music buying public, and it's only a matter of time before this delightful tour de force gets the credit it deserves.