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Eclectic career overview of a singular talent
on 1 February 2008
It's her singular focus on staying in the game that adds to the listening pleasure of this first-rate, musically eclectic 2CD career overview of the talented British singer-songwriter. Spanning 1971 to 2003, it journeys from the 16 year-old's big budget folk 'n strings Island debut with Terry Reid, Free and John Martyn to work of increasingly jazzy and Transatlantic leanings, surmounting the rump of punk in collaboration with progressive faves Wishbone Ash, Steve Howe and Jon & Vangelis, to relocate in the synth and tinkle of 'new age'. Whilst the contexts here for Hamill's work may not be to all tastes, there is no denying the quality of her writing, which shines throughout, aided by her revealing and rancour-free timeline notes. Ultimately, it's the Island titles 'One House Left Standing' and 'October' that you go back to. Young though she was the songs, performances and production soar with confidence and the almost anxious, dark-eyed gaze from her debut's cover has an adult's level challenge in it. There was indeed more to come.