Grace And Danger

John Martyn: Grace And Danger.

Martyn Seduces.

As ever, Martyn’s songs work as pieces of mood and atmosphere, creating their feeling as much from the texture of the music as his hazy, phrased lyrics. It’s the control and direction of that mood that causes “Grace And Danger” ‘s only problem – the voice and basic instrumentation are fertile and rich enough, and the addition of Tommy Eyre’s light, airy electric, piano is an over-sweet gossamer that occasionally overweighs the balance.

Martyn has maintained a similar balance in song choice to “One World”. The dominant atmosphere is of quizzical reflection, broken by “Johnny Too Bad”, which has the mutated guitar dance attack of “Big Muff’ on “One World”, topped by a keen, sweet guitar solo.

Listening to “Grace And Danger” made me finally realise just why I like John Martyn: he continues to use the seductive-timbre and tones of electricity with the experimental joy of a neophyte rather than the hacking – compromise of the predictable professional. He is worth your ‘ time.

John Orme
Melody Maker
1 November 1980