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I Agree and Disagree with you, Reviewers
on 25 August 2005
I agree with the other reviewers that the background music does little to enhance Eva's voice - in fact, in most cases, shields it under loud drums and, yes, overproduction. Her gifted voice, exceptional ear for harmony and creactivity are still apparent here, but the beauty of her falsetto voice, the many tiny inflections in her voice heard in acoustic settings, and, of course, her talents as an arranger - which are all so obvious on the official albums - are missing on most tracks.
Yet this album represents an important step in Eva Cassidy's career. On it are progressive rock songs written as an experiment by Daivd Lourim Christopher for his 'pet project' - which later came to be known as 'Method Actor'; other songs are so-called 'outtakes' from the same sessions. It must be said that the quality of the songs themselves are rather mediocre. One should realise this: Eva was singing for someone else's project - not her own. You might disagree, but I don't believe Eva's heart was truly in this style of music or songs, and she would probably not have chosen to sing them had she been the one to decide (with the exception of 'Natural Woman'). For her, this was an opportunity to record and perform.
The value of 'No Boundaries' lies in that it provides an insight into what Eva Cassidy may have sounded like earlier on in her career. Most significant, though, is that those were the very sessions in which she met someone named Chris Biondo, who would later become as important as any in encouraging and nurturing her talents, and the producer of most of her later works that millions have come to treasure.
And so, with that in mind, I believe that those who are lucky enough to be able to appreciate the history behind these sessions that came to give us Method Actor and No Boundaries will surely enjoy this collection as that of a young singer trying to develop by experimenting with recording. And for those who cannot, well, I hope this review convinces some of you.
In the words of Paul Limbrick: 'For what its worth, is that this is a fine stand alone album and obviously something that Eva willingly participated in. Sure, the music is not in the style with which we associate Eva, but nonetheless, it's still a fine album in its own right and is as important to the Eva Cassidy musical legacy, as the early Quarrymen recordings are to the Beatles and the early Steel Mill recordings are to Bruce Springsteen. Therefore historically, as with the Method Actor album, they should not be overlooked.'
Those who have heard of Eva the perfectionist might agree with me that were she still around this album would most probably not have seen the light of day. Whether this collection of songs should have been released remains open to debate, but it surely has its place in the legacy of Eva Cassidy.