I was lucky enough to get her first album almost as soon as it came out. It became my favourite release of 2007 and has been continually revisited ever since. I was beginning to wonder if she'd disappeared altogether when I heard that she was doing a session on Six Music, I found this album and ordered it immediately. Having waited so long for the follow up, I realised I was actually a little nervous in playing it, a little fearful of it being a let down. I needn't have worried, it's superb.
I gather the reason for the delay was having a few rocky times in the intervening years but she has reunited with Jason Hiller and Luther Russell who worked on her previous album which means, despite the gap, a continuity between the albums is maintained. If you loved the first album, you will love this. Incidentally, the first album ends with an absolute corker of a track and so does this. Her voice is as good as ever, the Karen Carpenter/Karen Dalton/Cat Power comparisons stand but it's HER voice, she's not imitating anybody.
I gather a lot of the songs deal with the loss of her father when she was younger (in a boating accident) so it would be fair to say a there is a lot of darkness in the lyrics but this is in no way a depressing album. The music is just too good to leave you maudlin.
It's still early but I already feel this could be the release of the year, I only hope she gets the success to go with it she deserves.