David Ford – I Sincerely Apologise For The Trouble I’ve Caused (2005)
What a sensational solo début this is. I’m not sure what it was that happened between the break-up of low-key indie band Easyworld and the release of this album, but David’s songwriting (which was pretty decent to start with) suddenly turned from good to remarkable. The whole album is a massive statement of defiance, individuality and freedom. The lyrics are raw, honest, sometimes world-weary, sometimes angry – there are a huge range of emotions on display here and they take you on an incredible internal journey throughout the whole, brilliant attention-grabbing album. This is top quality singer-songwriter fare, with a genre-defying character. You couldn’t really call it rock, folk, indie or radio-friendly pop, but there are elements of all of those genres on Ford’s début. It simply is what it is.
The opening song, “I Don’t Care What You Call Me”, remains one of my very favourite Ford compositions. It is an anthem for someone who has been emotionally beaten and bruised but it still standing upright. “State Of The Union” is an observational piece which rails and rants against the political system, about life, about love. It remains one of the most astonishing and arresting pieces that David performs live, to this day. The self-effacing “Cheer Up (You Miserable F—k)” starts off gently, subtly, and builds into a gloriously catchy refrain. My other picks of the album are “Katie”, a rather infectious and affable song based around insecurity, and “If You Only”, a beautiful song with truly lovely intentions. The final track, “Laughing Aloud” is also a superb, emotional piece of music and ends a truly brilliant album on an especially high note.
There is one tiny criticism of this album; there isn’t a track on here which hasn’t been bettered during a live performance by David. He is one of the greatest artists I have ever seen and delivers these powerful songs with passion, conviction and raw emotion. On later albums, his talent for performance has been captured a little better than on this one, but don’t get me wrong – these are still fine versions of some very special songs indeed. In fact, both the instrumentation and understated production on “I Sincerely Apologise For The Trouble I’ve Caused” are rather beautiful and give the recording the genuine, authentic air the material deserves. The superb quality and accomplished air of the songs, together with the human fragility David emanates begs the question of why commercial success eluded him with this one. That’s not a question I can answer, however, if you like your music to be beautiful, but also truthful and uncompromising, then this album should really hit home. If not, then he sincerely apologises for all the trouble he’s caused.