Home is where the heart is for Horse

KIRKCALDY;'Horse McDonald, Musician and guest editor of FFP Weekend Magazine'photo; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Horse McDonald, Musician and guest editor of FFP Weekend Magazine'photo; WALTER NEILSON

Allan Crow on a stunning new album from Horse, and a landmark live peformance at the Barrowlands


ONE four letter word sums up this album. Love.

The emotion, the feeling, and the heartbreak, but, above all, the happiness it brings infuses every lyric, every chorus and every song.

But this isn’t just an album about love. It is a joyous celebration of love from someone who always sings from the heart.

And, right now, that heart is bursting with happiness.

In the sleeve notes, Horse writes ‘‘after the struggle there is a time when everything comes together.’’

As in life, so in music.

In ‘Home’ everything comes together. Everything connects perfectly. This album is one of her very, very best.

Even the title speaks of a singer at absolute ease with life and in the right place with the right people at the right time, and when that happens, the end result - ‘Home’ - becomes something very special indeed.

It kicks off with a gutsy re-working of ‘Careful’ - Horse’s signature ballad - which is rebooted and re-energised for 2013 with a driving guitar sound, and that tempo is kept throughout.

‘Alanna’s Waltz’ is the most joyful declaration of love for a soulmate you will ever hear - same goes for ’I Adore You’ - while ‘I Am’ is a crystal clear statement which sums up Horse. ‘‘I am what I am, you can’t take anything from me,’’ she sings.

Love in all its forms weaves its way through ‘Breaking The Silence’ and ‘Soldier Of Love’ the latter one of the punchiest songs Horse has recorded in years; one that is a clear stand-out for any live performance.

But then you press repeat and, suddenly, you start picking up on the many subtle touches which really make this album complete; the church bells ringing out at the start of ‘Godbox’ ... the faintest skirl of pipes heralding ‘Soldier Of Love’ ... the choir and the sounds of the sea lapping into ‘Home’ the last in a trilogy of powerful ballads which send a shiver down your spine and bring this stunning album to a stunning close.

‘Ghost’ is mesmerising and ‘Meet My Maker’ simply outstanding. I could play it on repeat all evening.

‘Home’s is Horse’s ninth album. It is also where her heart is.

>> Horse performs with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at Barrowlands, Glasgow, on Saturday to celebrate the release of ‘Home’ and the 20th anniversary of ‘God’s Home Movie.’ On stage at 8.00 p.m.