With a debut sung in Welsh and a follow-up in English, Hywel Griffiths and his fellow three band members have decided not to revert to his native tongue for Fragile Diamond. Perhaps realising that he now had a much stronger clutch of tunes at his disposal he decided that economic sense far outweighed national pride for this third album as he extended its commercial reach way beyond the immediate land of his fathers. By doing this and then utilising a process of osmosis to absorb a record collection containing early Bowie, even earlier Ray Davies, a dash of Fairport Convention, Big Star, Brian Wilson, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and some JJ Cale before injecting this heady amalgam with a saucer full of sunshine, he now has Howl Griff gently knocking on the door of much wider acclaim.
To the jaded musical palate there is probably nothing that much new here. Some might even go as far as to say that it has all been heard before. In Everything’s case this is probably true as it could quite easily end up being arrested for the grand larceny of JJ Cale’s Cocaine. And those of an equally well developed musical moral sense would be screaming stop thief at Runaround as it raced down the street with the riff from The Man Who Sold the World tucked under its arm. But what the hell does any of this really matter? There is precious little music around today that can be described as being truly original and if the finished product ends up sounding as lively and alive as this and can infuse the listener with the reassuring warmth of familiarity on a cold winter’s evening then it surely has to be worth something.