Songs For The Road is, quite simply, a beautiful piece of music. In its short 9 tracks it takes you through the emotional wringer, but without leaving you feeling crushed or defeated. Cleverly, David Ford balances the heart wrenching missives of tracks like 'Go To Hell' and 'And So You Fell....', with the rather more upbeat tones of tracks like 'Nobody'.
This album is clearly a step on from Ford's debut (I Sincerely Apologise...), with, for the most part, previously raw guitar tracks filled out to great affect. For example, the opening 30 seconds of the album features a full string ensemble, which in turn is cut through with Ford's trademark acoustic guitar.
The album also benefits from a little influence from the US, from gorgeous lap slide cameos, to a song dedicated to the perceived insanity of organized religion. St Peter, a song written about the views of a drunk Baptist minister is later followed by Requiem, the spiritual successor to the last album's 'State Of The Union', delivering the message that despite all the warnings, we appear to be accepting the fate that awaits us, and sliding towards mutual destruction of love, life and culture. Songs about meeting unattainable women on subways these aren't. And yet Ford can do romance too. Both the self depreciating story of a man trying to kid himself that he is happy alone ('Nobody') and the great cover of the Smiths 'There Is A Light...' prove it beyond doubt.
In short, this album will move you in the most subtle of ways. No crass love songs, no bitter break up songs. Just great music from an amazing talent.
Frequently, reviews of Ford feature comparisons to various artists currently 'in vogue' with the buying public. If this leads to more people listening to him, I doubt he'd have a problem with it, but for me, Ford is beyond comparison. If you don't believe me, listen to the album and consider this... Both Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen consider themselves fans.