While some bands release and album each year, others really take all the time they need to write and record an album. Fans of Oliver Philipps and Everon had to wait six years for a follow-up of the somewhat complicated “Flesh”, but it was certainly worth the long wait.
To write the music for “North”, songwriter Philipps retired to the Dutch North Sea coast for a period of five weeks in the winter of 2005. Nothing happened immediately after that, but a year later he went back to the Netherlands, this time to finish the lyrics. That’s why the new album has been called “North”.
Let’s have a closer look at the ten tracks on offer. “Hands”, the rocking, straight-forward opening track, was also the first track that Philipps wrote for the new Everon album and it’s a typical Everon song, purely based on guitars. “Brief Encounter” is an epic song based on an encounter Philipps had with an old man some two decades ago. Lyrical wise it’s one of the most interesting ones on offer. “From Where I Stand” is the first track (of three) that features British cellist Rupert Gillet and it’s a fragile semi-ballad, full of atmosphere and melancholy. A lot more powerful is “Test Of Time”, which will appeal to a wider audience than the lovers of progrock alone. Next is the title track “North”, that Philipps wrote on a stormy day in less than 30 minutes. Believe it or not, but it’s one of the best on offer. A less typical Everon song is the rather poppy and catchy “South Of London”, which shows another – more experimental – side of Philipps. Can’t remember having seen/listened such an (almost) political content from the master! Next comes “Wasn’t It Good”, on which Philipps comments as follows: “This song is over the top dramatic, horribly pathetic and full of self-pity pouring out of every single word and note … It starts in a very intimate minimalist setting and builds up to a huge outburst of guitars, choirs and orchestra. Actually to my humble personal point of view, this kind of song is the essence of what Everon is all about.” The last three songs are “Woodworks” (a protest song against the wet Dutch climate), “Islanders” (a wonderful ballad, featuring Judith Stüber, known from the last Everon album) and “Running”, a mid-tempo track which closes the album in a splendid way.
Conclusion: a wonderful comeback album from Oliver Philipps and Everon, that makes us long for more. Just don’t let us wait another six years, Oliver!