Let Love Rule

Archie Roach

Let Love Rule
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Let Love Rule

Archie Roach

Archie Roach is a man of few words but when he speaks, or sings, those words lift you up, transport you and humble you. He is that rarest of beings; one that sees beyond race, religion, gender and ideology.


It’s been four years since the release of Into The Bloodstream, the album that marked his return to recording in the wake of unimaginable setbacks including a stroke, lung cancer and the sudden and tragic loss of Ruby Hunter, his partner both in life and music.

Let Love Rule is Archie’s tenth studio album in what has become an extraordinary career - the new songs explore the theme of love.

“I wanted to write about love, or a willingness to love all people,” says Archie. “We are closing ourselves off and not letting people in. And not just in the sense of not letting them into the country, but not letting them into our hearts, into our minds. Many of the songs on the album are really a call for understanding,” explains Archie.

Track listing:

  1. Let Love Rule
  2. Always Be Here
  3. Mighty Clarence River
  4. Love Is Everything
  5. It’s Not Too Late
  6. There’s A Little Child
  7. Get Back To The Land
  8. Spiritual Love
  9. Please Don’t Give Up On Me
  10. Love Sweet Love
  11. No More Bleeding

 

 

Review

It’s been a while since we’ve had some new music from Archie Roach, if you exclude last year’s expanded edition of Charcoal Lane. Roach has been through a lot and has used his experiences as a basis for his exploration of love in its many forms. Musically, Let Love Rule is Roach’s most varied and adventurous affair yet.

Album opener and title track ‘Let Love Rule’ begins with piano, a strong gospel feel, and pretty much outlines the lyrical themes of the album: the power of love over hate and darkness, and Roach’s love for all people. The album has a big cast of very fine Australian musicians including Jeff Lang, Matt Walker and Barb Waters (guitar); Helen Mountfort and Jen Anderson (strings); and Emma Donavan (vocals), just to name a few. The production is by Craig Pilkington and the arrangements are consistently surprising and varied.

The tempo picks up with the rocking ‘Mighty Clarence River’, a tale from our cruel past that features some great slide guitar. The next track, ‘Love is Everything’, is an uplifting tune opening with strummed South American charangos, folky violin and mariachi-style horns. ‘It’s Not too Late’ finds Roach contemplating the sorry state of the world today, but it’s no downer and his belief that it’s not too late to turn things around wins out. A highlight for me is the slow, jazzy ‘Get Back to the Land’ with some of Roach’s best singing, with echoes of Louis Armstrong and early Van Morrison. You can hear Roach’s enjoyment coming through in ‘Spiritual Love’, which has a great up-tempo feel, rocking guitars and very fine vocals from Emma Donovan. The album closes with ‘No More Bleeding’, an impressive production with massed choirs.


Paul Barr is a Music Specialist at Readings Carlton.

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