Alice Peacock has taken her philosophy of writing songs ‘that speak for people who might not be able to speak for themselves’ and produced an album full of real life observations relevant to us all. Love Remains, her latest of four highly impressive albums, is a characteristically brave, and often spiritual record which tackles some weighty issues among its fifteen tracks.
Alice, the daughter of a Methodist minister, grew up, like a lot of preacher offspring, singing in church. Teaming up with co-writer and co-producer Danny Myrick, himself the child of a Baptist minister, sees her addressing issues such as faith, hope, love, and many more of life’s big hitting questions. Having said that, this album comes at you with a vibrant air of upbeat connection, that makes the whole hour long experience a rewarding and at times joyous experience.
Since appearing on the scene with Real Day, Alice has released three albums, the last of which, 2005s Who I Am, was a largely introspective piano led release.
In many ways she takes a leap of faith with Love Remains. For the album she teamed up with an impressive list of Nashville musicians that include pedal steel player Dan Dugmore (Linda Ronstadt), guitarists Kenny Greenberg (Willie Nelson) and Rob McNelley (Delbert McClinton), drummer Will Denton (Steven Curtis Chapman), and multi-instrumentalist Phil Madeira (Emmylou Harris).
Love Remains is a rich tapestry of country flavoured songs that are set amid waves of rootsy Americana. Alice recognizes the undoubted power of music to connect with people from all walks of life and delivers songs that radiate honesty.
They range from the downtrodden and misunderstood as on “I Am Mary”, the disarming self-reflection of “All About Me” (written along with John Paul White), or the vulnerable Gospel soaked “Trying To Hold Back Time”.
Set in amongst these are songs of defiance, such as “Forgiveness”, the vibrant story of “Real Life”, and “City Of Angels” which deals with what she experienced in Los Angeles earlier in her career. Alice reflects, ‘I don’t need to be a star down on Sunset Boulevard, living an empty dream, where things ain’t what they seem. City Of Angels you’re no good for me’.
The message of this album is clear whilst many of the things we hold dear are actually built on sand the essence of life holds true and ultimately we all hope that Love Remains.
It also seems to be an acknowledgement of where she is as a performer and person at this stage in her life and career. The first track, despite it’s opening statement of defiance, evolves into a song that accepts that life is not “All About Me”. This is a fine opening that most of us who have ever dreamed of taking off like some road movie will be able to instantly identify with.