Review Rock ‘n Reel (R2) UK of John Coinman’s ‘Already Are’

There is a satisfying cosy comfort about Already Are in its familiar chord structures and general Americana charm. With six albums and a litany of award-winning film contributions to his name, John Coinman deserves, on this evidence, to be better known for his singer-songwriter output.

Kicking off energetically and urgently with the chugging title tracl ‘Alreday Are’,  Coinman creates a tension that he juxtaposes with husky vocal intimacy. ‘Turn The Page’ has a similar insistent Pettyish feel and is beautifully underpinned by Blair Forward’s inventive bass, which provides a lovely groove too for a semi-autobiographical ‘That’s What You Do For Fame’.

In common with The Boss and the master of the craft, Tom Russell, Coinman has the dramatist’s gift in making universal the emotions and feelings of personal life. On Already Are, this precious ability is displayed to the full in ‘Oklahoma City’ and ‘The Angels Came Down’, a collective national angst expressed through fleeting observation of seemingly insignificant third-party personal suffering.

Coinman’s spacious co-production with Teddy Morgan, resulting in simplicity of melody and non-obtrusive backing, allows welcome ease of access to eleven mini-dramas, providing a ‘less is more’ lesson to those favouring the Pro Tools-era kitchen sink approach (David Innes)