Paul Heaton presents - The 8th
After a successful stage debut at the 2011 Manchester International Festival, Paul Heaton’s epic and ambitious 'soul opera' The 8th makes its recorded appearance and, along with it, a stab at surely the oddest album of the year award.
Heaton gathers together an impressive cast list for this modern day take on the seven deadly sins and, although the likes of Cherry Ghost, Jacqui Abbott and Los Campesinos!' Gareth Paisey make great contributions, it is the inclusion of American actor Reg E. Cathey as the narrator and central character that is the master stroke. Cathey’s timbre gives a gravitas to his narrator role that fits perfectly with the downbeat and edgy tales from the broken down neighbourhood that unfold around him. Heaton himself doesn't make an appearance until the opus is almost complete and it is a sign of the quality of the album that is absence is barely noticed. The 8th is not an easy listen and unlikely to find itself nestling alongside all those copies of Carry On Up The Charts out there, but for lovers of intriguing, challenging and downright bonkers records this is a must buy.