Single Review: Charlotte Church – Water Tower
I don’t really want to retread the whole spiel about how Charlotte used to be one of the nations beloved operastars, then an even more beloved celebrity and popstar because we all know that bit, don’t we? Most of you that bother to read blogs written by nobodies like me will also probably be quite well informed that she has now gone down the indie songstress route which, if you didn’t know, is going quite well thank you very much. But for the benefit of those that aren’t well read on the situation; rid your minds, top 40 listeners, of chart positions and record sales, Charlotte Church has emancipated herself of it all and is now concentrating on just being rather great, really.
‘Water Tower’ signals the first taster from her third EP and it is the most mesmerising yet. It guides you in with a false sense of security, some brooding and whimpering guitar plucks ringing over pounding, pulsating drums. So far, so indie. But don’t get too complacent – freedom is the key word when it comes to Church’s new music, and she exemplifies it halfway through when it explodes into one of the most impressive and heartstopping crescendos you’ll hear. Forget about the simplicity, we’re now dealing with euphoric saxophone fighting for your attention over apocalyptic drumming and an 80s styled guitar solo that grows in intensity and desperation.
Charlotte herself sounds as sultry as the guitar parts to begin with, but, mirroring the song itself, comes into her own as she breaks free with a voice that joins the instruments in commanding your ear. It feeds from Church’s passion and strength, sounding both terrifying and endearing. It is quite something, to hear the soul of a singer instead of a perfectly hit note, but that is what music is about and Charlotte has embodied it here much more than she ever would have been able to in a classical career. Some things are just much more vital in music than a flawless reading of notes and the emotion here is what lifts it to the next level.
It’s actually a very wise move she has made by putting out this constant flow of material, you can visibly see and evidence just how far she has come from ‘The Rise’ which was rife with potential, to this tune which is her strongest yet. ‘Water Tower’ is so impressive because it doesn’t concern itself with perfection. It’s crafted but it’s not pristine which is where it’s merits lie – the aforementioned rawness to Church’s voice is the strength of this entire project. She has found her own voice in amongst the professional training and her song-writing skills that sit alongside it are growing in brilliance with every EP. Your granny won’t like this much, but you might.
Words: Simon McMurdo