A brilliant album. Oates here creates real folk magic. If many of the songs are dour, there's still a kind of
lilting lightness to her voice and the slight Celtic overtones are just enough and just right. Also she pays attention to the lyrics, including the upbeat ones & fine timing & subtle mood changes in the vocals. Kudos to the production/arrangement ideas of Phil Beer of Show of Hands too (& the ideas here are not the folk rock of SOH either!). This album is also I think an improvement over her excellent first one. 'Young Donald' and "Billy Reilly' alone are devastating, deeply moving songs that almost alone make the album worth getting. But all the rest are wonderful too. I think if she keeps up like this, Oates can be mentioned in the same breath as June Tabor, Karine Polwart and even Sandy Denny.