Jackie Leven – Shining Brother, Shining Sister

Scottish cult hero's first since 2001's Creatures Of Light And Darkness

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The wilfully weathered Leven wears his art on his sleeve: his new work incorporates poems by Rilke, ee cummings and Edith Sitwell, read by Ron Sexsmith, Robert Bly and David “Pere Ubu” Thomas. Despite Leven’s wry sleevenotes, it’s nothing if not earnest. When it doesn’t click, it’s a bit Chris Rea/Dire Straits, but when he allows himself to croon songs of honest personal heartbreak, like the lovely “Another Man In The Old Arcade”, the library lets some light and shade in and his lilting voice moves you to the marrow.

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