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Eleanor McEvoy - Who?
on 18 February 2003
Rarely do you get an artist whose consistency is so faultless that every album is a work of art. Eleanor McEvoy is that artist! The most underrated and unheard artist in the music world! 'Yola' is her fourth album and marks yet another development in her musical progression, which emphasises the acoustic, back to basics feel. It is not maybe the album to start with if you are to be introduced to Eleanor McEvoy's music; I suggest her second album the outstanding 'What's following Me', though you will also be well introduced with 'Snapshots' and the first album entitled 'Eleanor McEvoy'. Yola as an album probably won't make an instant impression on first listening. It needs a few plays to listen for its masterfully crafted lyrics and melodic melodies to grip you and then you will be hooked. An album to be played over and over again and never tire of.
As with the other albums the major theme of songs is one of relationships and the lyrics display a very perceptive and sensitive insight into the many aspects of human emotions. The lyrics are poetically crafted in a masterful way and would be as impressive printed in a poetry book as they are sung with music on a CD. This is not to understate the quality of the musical side of this album, music that emphasises the eminence of the piano in crafting tunes that complement the poetry of the songs. McEvoy's distinctive smooth vocals with rich tones are crystal clear in lyrical delivery and are complemented by the prowess of Brian Connor's piano playing. Eleanor McEvoy is truly a tour de force as a poet, a composer, musician and singer.
The lyrical content of the songs focuses on relationships from the positive such as the first tract 'I've got you to see me through' and the seventh 'easy in love' to the negative such as 'seasoned love' and "dreaming of leaving'. It is hard to pick a favourite track as all are individually crafted with poetic lyrics expressing insight and perception on a deep emotional level. The album begins on a positive note with an optimistic view of relationships sung to a lively melody. But this is soon changed by tracks that explore the heartache of hurting and broken relationships 'Isn't it a little late?' 'The rain falls', 'Did I hurt you?' 'Dreaming of leaving' and 'Seasoned love'. This last track is a poetic work of genius. 'Easy in love' picks up the tempo with a happy go lucky love song, followed by a melodic song focusing on the emotion of loss, entitled 'Last seen on October 9th'. Hurt emotions as a theme is returned to in 'Leaves me wondering', but the album ends on a positive note with the final two tracks 'I hear you breathing in', an intimate love song and 'Something so wonderful' well develops a spiritual depth to McEvoy's lyrics.
This is certainly not a depressing album; it is one that is beautifully composed with a sultry feel dealing sensitively with the lows and highs of feelings and emotions and the complicated nature of our relationships with those close to us.
On a practical note the jacket is attractively presented, with atmospheric graphics, the exception being the pictures of McEvoy and Connor, they are somewhat unfortunate! One drawback is the lyrics are not printed in the sleeve notes; you have to visit the web site to read them, though Eleanor's crystal clear diction means you don't miss a word on the songs.
Don't dismiss this album if it does not grab you on first listening. It is a masterwork that will grow on you the more times you listen to it, the poetry demands to be heard. It is not for playing as background music and do listen to McEvoy's other albums you will not be disappointed.