malcolm + Alwyn - fool's wisdom

Fool’s Wisdom
Myrrh Records

For the life of me, I swear I had a review of this particular album done and posted years ago. Maybe it was only done for my former ‘zine publication–STATIC–that I did back in the 1990s, and never really did one for my forays into online blogging. But, going back thorough my highly prolific list of music reviews I have in my personal collection, I came upon the realization that I don’t have a review posted for British Jesus rock duo Malcolm & Alwyn’s debut release Fool’s Wisdom. Consider this my rectifying of the problem.

I first came across the music of Malcolm & Alwyn by way of the elders in the church I was attending in the 1990s, who all lived through the Jesus People movement in the 1960s and 1970s. They had a copy of this on vinyl, and since I was going through my neo-hippie phase back then (as a lot of college-age kids groping to find their identities sometimes do, I make no apologies), I recorded off a copy for my own listening enjoyment from the well-loved vinyl record they had. Later on, Word, Inc. (who bought up the label this album was originally released on) re-released a lot of Jesus Rock-era albums onto CD, and Fool’s Wisdom was one of the titles, which I bought…and then gave away to someone who really liked it better than myself. Now, here we are in the second decade of the 21st Century, and this debut album is now available for full download on Amazon and various other legal download sites. Now all we need is one of those Vinyl Revival re-issues to bring things full circle.

As far as the music on this release, I actually kind of like it, in the capacity of something to throw on when I’m in that Hippie Rock kind of mood. Yes, “Hippie Rock” is a genre in my head. Quit looking at me like that. It’s acoustic-based folk rock that typifies the era, and strong comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young pop to mind, as well as asides to pre-electric Bob Dylan. The musicianship is quality, the songs are rather memorable, and–while I have to be in a very specific mood to throw this on–the entire album is solid front-to-back. Mind you, nowadays, I don’t throw it on nearly as many times as I had in my younger days, but it’s still a strong presence in my collection. I recommend this for fans of older classic folk-stylings of the previously mentioned Simon & Garfunkel and CSN+Y, as well as James Taylor, and acoustic music in general. Not as big on the pretentiousness, though.