Open Roads CoverRough Trade RTRADSCD357: 7th August 2006
1. Open Roads (Edit)
“‘Friends’ is such a horrid word, I sit at home, with all the things I’d learned, you didn’t phone, and in a different world, we’d have never said goodbye”
2. Soul Love
“Stone love, she kneels before the grave, a brave son, who gave his life, to see the slogan, that hovers between the headstone and her eyes, for they penetrate her grieving”
3. Grace Cathedral Hill
“And the world may be long for you, but he’ll never belong to you, but on a motorbike, when all the city lights blind your eyes tonight, are you feeling better now”
4. Open Roads (Full Length Version)
“Hold on to dreams, and to memories, they’re the only things, that really exist”

At first I thought ‘Open Roads’ was about the death of a loved one, next about being dumped, then I thought it was about a dream and finally about two parted lovers meeting again in their old age. Perhaps it’s is about all of them or even none of the things I think it’s about. The lyrics are of such depth and beauty that I find new things every time I listen to it (And I’ve listened to it a lot). The words are filled with sepia tinged nostalgia like “Soaked to the skin, these were perfect days”. I would be tempted to describe its production as middle-of-the-road. This is because there is nothing here to irritate, to upset, or to challenge, it’s simply about as perfect as a song can get. The track reaches it’s peak when Cerys sings “How beautiful you are” and the music fades away. If you listen to the ‘Full Length Version’ there is a magical forty-second Acoustic coda. Many times I’ve caught myself singing along in an ear-splitting attempt at a graceful falsetto. Well, I could go on all day about how good this song is. It’s definitely a contender for my single of the year.

‘Open Roads’ is backed by two covers, which naturally don’t match up to the A-side but are still very much worth having. I’ve always considered ‘Ziggy Stardust’ to be the poor cousin of ‘Honky Dory’. But Cerys’ cover of ‘Soul Love’ has really brought the quality of Bowie’s lyrics to my attention, perhaps I was wrong. Last up is a cover of ‘Grace Cathedral Hill’ by The Decemberists. I’d never really got into them, but once again Cerys’ has shown me another great lyricist. I love the way the words pick out little details that really paint a picture in your head.

Click here to buy Cerys’ new album ‘Never Said Goodbye’ from HMV for only £8.99.

Click here to watch Cerys and Tom Jones sing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ on YouTube.

Cerys Matthews Website
David Bowie Website / The Decemberists Website

One Comment to “CERYS MATTHEWS – Open Roads (CD EP)”

  1. Great review of Open Roads. One of my faves as well.

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