The title Caravan is appropriate for Carus’ lifestyle. He tends to be a bit of a nomad. Based primarily in the UK, he spends more time on the road traveling than most musicians and this is used as the basis for this album. Songs built around his collection of experiences both personal and observational told with style, in some respect, similar to great storytellers like Paul Kelly and Tim and Neil Finn.
Musically, his songs are stripped back affairs that keep arrangements simple while being effective as support to his sometimes poignant words. What stands out is the fact that two separate versions of his backing band were involved in the recording of this album. The band based in Europe and the other one based here in Australia. You cannot tell the difference between the two in what is either pure genius or pure luck on Carus’ part to find two sets of musicians with not only the same tone but bringing out the best in the music in equal ways.
You Can’t Find Me, the album’s second track, has what I describe as a Melbourne cafe rock sound. Upbeat tempo with sweet melodies and should come across well live. You Made Me I imagine being played a lot at weddings or alternatively, during weddings on prime time soap operas. That’s not to criticize the track. It’s a great song about love and telling that special someone how much they mean to you. Inland Sea is a romantic tale of early settlers believing there would be an inland sea of Australia. Bright Star has a southern country feel complete with fiddle and boot scooting drum beat and Whistleblower is ballad for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Overall Caravan is a great little album from an acclaimed singer/songwriter. This is more than a travel record, it’s an album like a good bottle of red wine. It should be appreciated and shared with good company.