James Yorkston When the Haar Rolls In

James Yorkston When the Haar Rolls In
After breaking away from folk tradition on 2007's The Year of the Leopard, James Yorkston has returned to familiar waters for its follow-up, When the Haar Rolls In. For better or worse, this means the Scottish songsmith is back on his revival kick, channelling the old ghosts of English folk's yesteryear and pronouncing a love for the Pentangle loud and clear. It also means Yorkston is back working with a hefty cast of backing players, who litter the album with mandolins, xylophones, double basses, concertinas, clarinets and you name it. And while this back-to-roots approach isn't necessarily bad, it's not that adventurous either, especially considering the record comes after the avant-garde dabbling of the stark, introspective Leopard. In some ways, When the Haar Rolls In feels like a missed opportunity and would have been best served with Yorkston pushing his sound further forward rather than backwards. Nevertheless, if it's tradition you're after, you could do a whole lot worse. (Domino)