Deciding on a title for a new album is a process which Chris de Burgh always considers very carefully – and his forthcoming, 17th studio album is more aptly named than any previous release.There are, and will be, many interpretations concerning the meaning of ‘The Road To Freedom’.For Chris, it openly identifies his enthusiasm about not only producing an intensely individual album, but, also, for choosing to be at liberty to make it available on his own, Ferryman Records, label.For listeners, the album presents a vibrant and emotionally uplifting journey along a path filled with insight, inspiration and, as ever, vivid imagination. And it does so with a lyrical diversity married perfectly against a musical backdrop of truly international appeal; Spanish, Celtic, North American and Eastern European melodies are instantly apparent.Equally, it’s a record which tackles a wide spread of subject matter; the bittersweet life of Queen Elizabeth the First (‘Rose Of England’), a rallying, heartfelt plea for people to make something of their lives (‘Read My Name’), a moving tribute to the late Eva Cassidy (‘Songbird’) and – possibly most intriguingly – a song called ‘Five Past Dreams’, the ‘what happened next?’ follow-up to Chris’s biggest career hit, and one of the most romantic ballads of all time, ‘The Lady In Red’.
Each of these songs, and the other seven original compositions featured on the album, was written with a quite specific aim in mind; the desire within Chris to be able to play them all in the context of solo concert performance, without the need to embellish every track with any accompaniment beyond his guitar or piano. An extensive World Tour, with dates initially in Europe and the UK, is already planned to support the album and that intent.
‘The Road To Freedom’ presents an up-beat, positive and hopeful over-view of the world as Chris de Burgh currently sees it, viewed in the cinematic proportions which have become one of his unique abilities.
“I’ve written all of the songs from the standpoint of who I am today. I haven’t pretended I’m 30 years younger. These songs will, I believe, appeal across the board but they’re written from what I’m thinking about today and what my imagination is perceiving.”
Chris’s approach to songwriting for the album was similarly honest and, indeed, liberating. “As I didn’t have to write songs while considering the part to be played in them by a band performance, it meant a complete change of direction. So I was able to take a lot of time personally developing each song which, in the past, was not really an option if you had to bring a band in.”
The result is a strong, beautiful and complete record, carefully crafted to provoke thought and reaction.
“I think that’s what good songs do or good pieces of poetry or, indeed, good paintings. They touch a nerve and they allow you to be more in tune with your own humanity. That’s very important because in this wild, stressful life we live it’s essential to get back to your real self, and your own spirituality.”
‘The Road To Freedom’ will be released by edel Records GmbH on March 8th.