By Alyce Ruby
After 15 years as guitarist and co-songwriter in Reverend and the Makers, Ed Cosens is stepping out the shadows today with his debut solo album, ‘Fortunes Favour’. The ten-track project is flavoured with hints of Reverend and the Makers, amongst influences of indie-rock artists we know and love, served up of course with his Sheffield charm.
From the first verse of ‘Running on Empty’, it’s obvious this album was produced by no amateur. The lyrics hold a double-meaning of heartbreak, reflecting what we’ve all been feeling this past year with feeling burnout due to the pandemic and…’running on empty’. The track almost immediately explodes into a chaos of guitar falling into a slow, steady melody before building back up again.
The running theme of the album is love, heartbreak and all that is in-between. ‘If’, ‘The River’ and ‘Last to Know’, the lyrics are catchy and feel familiar, almost comforting in a way. To me - reminiscent of old love songs from the 60s. The acoustic guitars, pianos, loved-up lyrics, echos of ‘ooo’s’ and ‘sha-la-la’s’. With the classic tropes of a lovesick man on ‘The River’: “down by the river, I’ll wait for you. If it takes forever, I’ll wait forever too. I’ll be there to catch you, my darling if you fall.” To ‘Lovers Blues’, where our protagonist is literally sick with love: “went to the doctor and he said, ‘it’s just a case of lovers blues’.”
On ‘Madeleine’, we get the classic Arctic Monkeys treatment of a dark, slow beat, a guitar bridge and Alex Turner’s wit of comparing the loving of a woman to a drug/poison. We get another taste of this on ‘The Pantomime’ (mixed with the Reverend and the Makers sound) and the intro of ‘On The Run’, with jangly guitar riffs and clever song writing. It may just be the accent, but this sound stands out to me most on this album - yet as a seasoned musician, he knows how to make it his own.
The body of work has a definite theme it sticks to, each track follows the one before it in a cohesive, well-planned order. It does run the risk of sounding ‘samey’ in parts, with its influences obvious but it’s safe and it works well, especially for the debut of a band member going solo.
Cosens has shown he has the strength to stand on his own two feet and has produced a very promising debut album. He’s more than proven he has the talent and song writing chops for a solo career, and that he can successfully explore various sounds within the indie genre. ****