The tracks on â€œLookafteringâ€ really flow like honey; Bunyan comes through with a distinctive, not-quite falsetto set of vocals. These vocals are bolstered by some of the most emotive and honest guitar work ever produced, and in some sense actually provide Bunyan with a second set of vocals to play off of. Every piece of instrumentation on â€œLookafteringâ€ is quality-controlled and checked until the best fit is allowed to finally represent Bunyan; it may just be this devotion to crafting the best sound that made for a three and a half decade absence from studio music. Why exactly Bunyanâ€™s first album was a commercial flop the first time it came out is beyond me; 200 showed that good music does prevail in the re-issue of Bunyanâ€™s first album â€œAnother Diamond Dayâ€.
Tracks like â€œHiddenâ€ may benefit from current equipment and mastering, but the soul of Bunyanâ€™s music is what really pushes this album into the stratosphere. Something as simple as Bunyanâ€™s voice elicits a gamut of emotion, almost driving listeners to tears; the sheer brilliance of â€œAgainst The Skyâ€ having more to do with the lachrymal response than any depressing subject material. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the music that is the talk of the town on â€œLookafteringâ€; even more so, the fact that Bunyan is able to put a lifetime of experience in short, three to four minute tracks speaks much to eir ability as an artist. The disc is surprisingly short, a fault which is exacerbated by the easy-going-down type of music constructed by Bunyan.
There seems to be a lot of influence taken from Bunyan by folkies the world over; on tracks like â€œIf I Wereâ€, the same style of music dominates that really marked Catherine Oâ€™Haraâ€™s work as Mallory on A Mighty Wind. There is no real need for any of the instruments that make rock loud and raucous; it is easy to hear during tracks like â€œBrotherâ€ and Bunyanâ€™s earnest style actually provides listeners with more emotional fury than any person with a complete drum set and a copy of Black Sabbathâ€™s recordings could ever create. There is tremendous replay value to â€œLookafteringâ€, because this album lends itself well to either active or passive listening. Hopefully the space between Bunyanâ€™s second and third album will be much shorter than the one between eir first and second one. Still, this album is well worth the thirty-five year wait.
Top Tracks: Feet of Clay, Hidden
Vashti Bunyan â€“ Lookaftering / 2005 DiChristina / 11 Tracks / http://www.anotherday.co.uk / Reviewed 30 November 2005