The cover on this album doesn’t seem to represent the music in it. Jonas Carping possesses a voice with a memorable quality that suits the songs well. The music is also effective and evocative. The voice and acoustic guitar are central and around that you get layers of strings, pedal steel, mandolin and a range of guitars that create a compelling mood that is folk-ish, yet not strictly of that genre.
Carping sing in English throughout and on the song The Sting shares his vocals with Sigrid Nilsson. Both have a strong vocal presence that fills the song with a quiet drama that is intriguing. There is a quality to this music that draws you in and makes you want to understand the understated nature of the songs. The voice, guitar and cello of The Rulers combine to tell a strange story that pleads “don’t be ruler, not like that” that has you, as a listener, trying to get to the heart of the song while you are captivated by what you are hearing.
It is an album that you have no expectation for but find yourself listening to closely, not just passively but in a more focused way as you get drawn into the overall sound. There appears to be a melancholy to much of Carping’s writing. It has a sadness that is lyrical though, at times, impenatrable. However that doesn’t really matter as it’s likely that you will be either drawn in or you won’t see it the same way. That is the truth of music: you can be taken with a particular overall sense of an album or it just passes you by.
All The Time In The World is not something that we all have, but on this occasion it is perhaps worth taking some to listen.