Personnel: Jon Boden (guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bagpipe, concertina, harmonium, melodeon, double bass, drums, percussion).
Recording information: Pure Studios; WaveLengthStudios.co.uk.
Photographer: David Angel .
Although he's better known for his work in Spiers & Boden and Bellowhead, Jon Boden is a man of many parts, and his second solo album allows him the kind of freedom he can't get elsewhere. The floodplain of the title could well be South Yorkshire, where he lives, and which was devastated by floods in June 2007. But there's also a general sense of devastation in the lyrics (and the post-industrial pictures in the CD booklet) -- "wasteland" is perhaps the most common word in the songs. It's not just industrial decline, but also spiritual, a paucity of everything in the England he beholds. Musically, it's less indie than his last release, but not exactly folk either, although founded and built on that. Perhaps it's close to think of him as an acoustic Peter Gabriel, blending different elements to craft his songs -- and make no mistake, although deeply heartfelt and passionate, these are carefully crafted -- but doing it all himself, playing 11 different instruments and singing (albeit with more restraint than in his other full-throated ventures). It's a disc that takes time and several plays to settle into the mind, but it repays the effort handsomely. ~ Chris Nickson