Throwing and Catching by Henry Bateman.

Simple, clean lines and stripped back voice and guitar are at the forefront of this album. Henry explores how we are influenced by our childhood, how we deal with life, how we want to be accepted and how sometimes we are prepared to twist ourselves into pretzels to be what others want us to be.

Henry's fresh voice and finger-picking guitar, singer/song writer style rather than country and western, kicks off the CD with Should? The track has a seashore vibe, a rolling waves and skimming stones feel to it.

How A Man Should Be flows relentlessly painting a picture of the darker side of life, while Received In Me is a more folky song, country with a modern twist, simple and sweet.

The sea crops up in the imagery of a number of tracks; a rushing in and rushing out of our lives, ever present but never permanent.

Ready Or Not is my choice of single from the album, it has some lovely blues guitar set against the silvery tones of Henry's vocals. The track is ethereal, based on the story of a grandfather who has died, but is reaching back to earth to his grandson.

At The Water's Edge is my second favourite track on the album, a beautiful song, almost a lullaby, but tinged with a sad loneliness, moon drenched, but it ends on a happier, jazzier note.

Henry admits to being heavily influenced by Nick Drake and the album was inspired by Trevor Dann's biography of the singer/poet.

In Place To Be we have clear evidence of this, almost a homage to the dark brooding beats of Nick Drake. Amelia is a really powerful track seen through the eyes of a little girl in Nazi Germany and her loss of innocence. Throwing and Catching ends on a wistful note with For You.

The album has a strong leaning towards the allegorical, allowing different interpretations so the listener can take what they want to hear from the songs. 7/10 - Flicky Harrison