Search - Fred Small :: Only Love

Only Love
Fred Small
Only Love
Genre: Folk
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Fred Small
Title: Only Love
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 8/7/2001
Genre: Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 786851139211

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CD Reviews

Top-notch as always
David A. Bede | Singapore | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's sad but true that Fred Small's new career as a Unitarian minister has cut into his time for writing and performing music. But this, his first album of (almost) all new material in a decade, is a welcome reminder that he hasn't left the folk music world behind. Although I didn't find it quite as flawless or immediately accessible as some of his 1980s classics (particularly "I Will Stand Fast," which is high on my list of all-time favorites of any genre), "Only Love" has plenty to recommend it.Perhaps the secret to Small's success is sticking to what works. In this collection he sings of topics he's tackled brilliantly in the past - intolerance, lost love, new love, the environment, hope for a brighter future - but he never fails to put a new and compelling stamp on them. In keeping with his tradition of kicking off his albums with motivational songs, "A Dream in the Light" finds Small in as encouraging a mood as ever as he reminds us that "you can't stop this old world from turning/but a dream need not fade in the light." As always, it's a welcome respite-in-advance from some of the harsh, true stories he has addressed in song throughout his career. On the topical side, "Not in Our Town" tells the true story of a spate of anti-Semitic violence in Billings, Montana, and the community's inspiring response to it. (Small has been performing this one in concert for years and I think it was previously available as a single, but this is its first appearance on a full-length CD.) Also, "The Great Green Earth" provides a nod to Small's former career as an environmental lawyer. But - uncharacteristically for Small - those two songs provide the full extent of the overtly political material here. His other favorite topic, relationships, takes front-and-center for the bulk of the album. "Reverie's End" is the requisite sad love song, and arguably this collection's finest moment, guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye to one and all who have loved and lost. At the other end of the spectrum, "Nobody's Beauty" is a joyous tale of overcoming superficiality in one's relationships. It's an adult look at an adolescent fixation with physical beauty which far too many of us don't grow out of - just the sort of thing I would have scoffed at as a teenager but have grown to appreciate. Later on in the album, "The Weed" offers a more abstract, and much, much darker, look at the same principle. Closing the album beautifully is "My Roving Days," an a capella singalong that sounds convincingly like a traditional Irish drinking song. This is one field in which I don't think Small has tried his hand in the past, but he nails it perfectly.There are weak points, such as "Buddha Behind the Wheel," a misguided attempt at hip-hop (don't ask!!), and "Roger and Phoebe," a humorous look at a new father and his baby daughter which Small apparently wrote for friends. It's well-intentioned, but a bit too cute for my tastes. But alongside the album's better entries, they don't really intrude. Like all of Small's albums, this is a thought provoking and touching ride. Let's hope it's not another ten years until the next one."