How Well I Remember is the debut album by the husband and wife duo of Ned and Den Couch. They take their band name, Mad Rush, from the hectic bustle of getting their seven children off to school of a morning, yet there's nothing hectic about their music -- it's skillfully paced and performed. Den has a lovely voice, clear and true. Though a number of the songs on the album tell of grievous loss, as with "The Day You Were Taken Away" and "Lisbon," it's a beautiful mourning. She also does an evocative, melancholy performance of "Here I Must Lie," an original about Anne Boleyn on the eve of her execution. Hard to keep a dry eye after hearing this one. There's excellent harmonies on "Soldiers of Britain," with Ned singing lead on his original composition. And it's curious how "The Bloody Eleventh" can have such a cheerful concertina tune, while it tells of 341 deaths in battle. But that's a battle song for you. This one is, at any rate, honest about the blood. Yet, the one most likely to receive repeat play is "The Battle's Over," a profoundly moving ballad sung from the viewpoint of a woman tending her wounded love. Den sings lead, with harmonies from Ned and the children on "Fairisle," and it's nice that they end the album with a tale that has a happy conclusion. The common thread running through these diverse selections, from historical battle ballads like "John Merrick's Greycoats" to the wistful, modern "Lonely in the Crowd," is emotional honesty, and they convey it very ably. Definitely this first venture will find its way into CD collections, and inspire listeners to keep an ear out for more releases from Mad Rush.
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