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Album Review: Charlie Simpson - Young Pilgrim

Charlie Simpson really needs no introduction, from his humble beginnings in pop sensation Busted, at an age where most of us were in school/college to embracing musical maturity in post-hardcore band and altogether tight ensemble Fightstar; this is a man who is no stranger to the music industry.

And why should he be? His voice is one of the most adaptable of modern times, and in contrast to the fun, angry and sincere outings of his previous endeavors, in 'Young Pilgrim' Charlie Simpson turns his hand to a more acoustic world and finds himself not only soothing but a perfect fit for the genre.

Even as opening track ‘Down Down Down’ first worms its way into his listeners, they will be hit with the stark reality of Simpson’s talent, his range, lyrics and instrumentation all falling into place with a brick like tenacity.

Anyone skeptical about how he can slip into this range of genres with both ease and comfort will have no further questions after giving this a listen. It is truly impressive.

Backed by an impressive folk guitar and a flute on ‘All At Once’, the 26 year old music aficionado shows off his impressive vocal range without slipping once, his solo effort calling back to great acoustic artists such as Frank Turner; an artist he shares an upbeat almost punk format with despite the instruments used to create such a sound.

In ‘Hold On’ the pace begins to drop and creates an ambient glow from which Simpson’s beautiful layered vocals provide a backdrop to a modern lullaby. There is very little not to enjoy here and the fact that this is so far away from Fightstar’s signature sound does wonders exercising Simpson’s eager musical muscles.

Without a doubt, this album is impressive, even just on the face of it, but with a thorough listen it is clear that Young Pilgrim is much more than that, it’s a brilliant effort from a man who has shown over and over again that he is capable of everything musically and one that deserves all the admiration it gets.


Edward Strickson

Alter The Press!