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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Folk Release of 2002
This album marks the fulfillment of Eliza Carthy's great early promise. On her previous albums (and with Waterson: Carthy), I've enjoyed her fiddle playing and the song arrangements, but have not been quite sure about the quality of her singing. I felt all along, however, that it was only a matter of time before she entered into her inheritance. "Anglicana" is the...
Published on 17 Dec 2002 by Clive Wilshin

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5 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, boring,...
I finally got round to getting this album, and now wish I hadn't... Whilst 'okay', Carthy does not have a voice to set the world alight, and she sounds somewhat disconnected on various of the tracks, as if she only learnt the songs ten minutes before recording them. And then there is the choice of songs - They range from the merely boring, such as 'Just as the tide was...
Published on 12 July 2003 by Mace Maclean


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Folk Release of 2002, 17 Dec 2002
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
This album marks the fulfillment of Eliza Carthy's great early promise. On her previous albums (and with Waterson: Carthy), I've enjoyed her fiddle playing and the song arrangements, but have not been quite sure about the quality of her singing. I felt all along, however, that it was only a matter of time before she entered into her inheritance. "Anglicana" is the first masterpiece of Eliza Carthy's maturity. The fascinating thing is that you can hear the strengths of both her father's and her mother's singing styles. At last she enters into and inhabits her material in the way that marks out her parents (and her aunt and uncle, Lal and Mike Waterson) as Britain's finest singers of traditional material. This isn't at all like her album of "modern" songs last year (though I quite liked that too): all the songs are traditional (except a lovely instrumental on which Martin plays guitar, written by Eliza for her Dad's 60th birthday), but there are none of the stale choices on so many folk albums. On "In London So Far", Eliza accompanies herself on the piano - I've not heard folk music accompanied by the piano before (except for the wonderful Britten/Pears collaborations), and Eliza's playing is a revelation. This is a stunning rendition. The same can be said of "The Bold Privateer", a song which she wrung out of her old man, and which she sings very much as one imagines as he would sing it, with great strength and appreciation of its dark power. If this doesn't win best performance of a traditional song at next year's Kate Rusby Aw- sorry, Radio 2 Folk Awards, there is no justice in the world. Truly a revelation.
A strong hint of this suddening blossoming of a long-suggested talent can be heard on the latest Waterson: Carthy album, on which Eliza contributions are finally the equal of her illustrious parents' (and is my second favourite folk release of 2002, after Anglicana). After her brief flirtation with popular music (of a superior kind), Eliza has made a triumphant return to her roots .
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pretty much faultless..., 2 Feb 2004
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
well i thought that rice was pretty damn good, but when i got this for christmas (i had to restrain myself heavily from buying it beforehand) i nearly fell over. everything i liked about rice is included here - eliza's beautiful and highly characteristic voice, her wonderful fiddle playing and her flair for arranging songs in unexpected and delightful ways..
although i am a big fan of paired down arrangements usually, i'd trust any song in eliza's hands. alongside more traditional folk arrangements we have elements of jazz and anything else she feels will add to the music....
needless to say i am a huge fan, and anyone doubting her amazing vocal skills should see her live. i saw her before christmas at a small gig in edinburgh and she sang a couple of acappella songs, effortlessly keeping the whole audience listening to the story and enjoying the warmth of her voice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional English folk songs in a contemporary setting, 20 May 2005
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
Eliza Carthy, daughter of folk singers Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy, emerged in the late nineties as Britain's leading female folk singer. Eliza has always sought to bring a contemporary edge to her music, perhaps hoping in the process to get more people to take an interest in Britain's folk-song heritage. It is sometimes said that a great song will survive any interpretation, but adapting traditional songs written in an entirely different era when there was little or no backing music to a contemporary setting is no easy task. Nevertheless, Eliza has come up with an interesting and entertaining album that preserves the essence of each song. Listening to this album, nobody can be in any doubt that this is, at its heart, traditional folk music, even if it is updated slightly to appeal to listeners in the new millennium.
Eliza found many of the songs here on a twenty-volume series titled Voice of the people (released on Topic records, like this album). Folk music fans will find much of interest in that series, if they can afford it. To a wider audience, the best-known song here may be Just as the tide was flowing -10,000 Maniacs are among others to have recorded the song - but Eliza sings it her way and it's superb as all the songs here are. Among my other favorites here are Worcester City, Little gypsy girl, Bold privateer and Willow tree.
If you have any interest in traditional folk music, you should give this album a listen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark, 13 Aug 2004
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
Unless Eliza surpasses herself, (and I wouldn't put it past her) this will stand as one of the albums of the decade. I think she's finally realised that she's at least as good a singer as her parents. There's a confidence and muscularity to her singing on this that's lacking on her earlier records.
Of course, there are quibbles: No matter how lovely its tune, 'Just As The Tide Was A Flowing' should surely be taken a little faster (it works live though). However, any criticism fades into insignificance in the face of the monumental 'Worcester City'.
Most of the songs on this were taken from Topic Records' 20 volume 'Voice of the People' collection of recordings of traditional singers. Anglicana is a fantastic introduction to this treasure trove of material, if these songs catch your attention in Eliza's hands, do yourself a favour and go and seek out the recordings she used as inspiration -- (check out Joseph Taylor singing Worcester City on "O'er His Grave The Grass Grew Green", there's an audio clip on this site).
But if you really want to do yourself a favour, go and see Eliza playing live; great as this album is, it's a pale shadow of what you get from being up close and personal with great performers, and her current band is fabulous.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 10 April 2003
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
This was my introduction to Eliza Carthy, and I have to say it blew me away. Although sometimes repetitive in tone and style, there are some accomplished folk ballads here and Carthy's vocal talents cannot be underestimated - she is easily comparable to Iona's Joanne Hogg. All in all, this is simply superb. I bought it on a whim and am not regretting it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new genre, 6 Mar 2005
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
Eliza Carthy boldly lays claim to a new genre with the inspired title of this beautiful album. It fits her music perfectly and needs no further explanation. Whereas she has in the past ironically sounded more dated when occasionally attempting more modern and experimental musical forms, her exploration of traditional material invariably sounds fresh and forward looking, and here she is again helped by a varied and fine collection of mostly acoustic musicians. 
Her affecting version of the old favourite Just As The Tide Was Flowing, revived by Shirley Collins with the Albion Band and by the American group 10,000 Maniacs amongst others, takes on an altogether more sombre and elegant timbre in its new reinvention, whilst many of the songs have been drawn from collections and archives, some brought to her by her father Martin Carthy, or Dr MCMBE, as an instrumental piece dedicated to him and on which he plays guitar is titled. Worcester City and Pretty Plowboy are two other highlights which seem to define what Eliza Carthy is all about. Although one of the themes of the album is Englishness there are, as she says, no border controls and one of the songs, In London So Fair, comes from the Irish singer Mary Ann Carolan, while some of the album was recorded in Edinburgh. 
In London So Fair was recorded on a Steinway, Eliza having switched from fiddle for the occasion, in a living room overlooking the sea, and you can almost hear the ocean in the atmosphere, so vivid is the recording (the sea being another of the main album themes). The lighthearted and jazz-tinted Willow Tree closes the album with a hint of new directions to come. A well balanced and mature album, and reassuring for the future of British folk music
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Folk Magic, 24 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
In a good year for folk releases this stands out. Anglicana is a collection of classic folk songs performed with Eliza Carthy's wit and attention to detail. If your friends still live under the illusion that British folk is un-subtle and grossly nasal, this is the CD to peove them wrong. Intense and intelligent performances delight the ear and stretch the mind.
He accompanying musicians share her passion and her understated readings of great songs. This is an important release and a delight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First time, 19 Feb 2005
By 
tim jones (Thame, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
As a long time student of American folk ('Americana') I thought is was about time I investigated my own folk music. What a revelation. The whole album is a joy. I cannot write about individual tracks as I have already given it away and need a new copy. Track 3 (As the tide was flowing?) is achingly beautiful with its sustained drone backing. I am inspired to delve further into English folk with confidence and expectation. Show me the way to Cambridge....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty ploughboys & bold privateers, 3 Oct 2013
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
Well, `pretty privateers` wouldn`t have sounded quite right, though you never know what you`ll find in a folk song.
This is one of Eliza`s most perfectly realised albums, from its witty title to its sumptuous inside booklet, with delightful pics of the photogenic Ms Carthy, with and without her fetching blue lipstick.
Topic Records do their artists proud, pictorially and musically. This album sounds wonderful, and indeed is just that. The choice of songs and instrumentals is a satisfying mix of the well-known (Just As The Tide Was Flowing) and the arguably more obscure, such as the ravishingly beautiful Willow Tree which closes the selection in fine style, and Bold Privateer, a song which her dad Martin `gave` her after, as Liza says in the notes, she` eventually held him in a savage stranglehold until he gave it up`. These angry young folk singers...
She`s joined on these songs by some of the best folk musicians around, including Spiers & Boden, Ben Ivitsky, Tim van Eyken, Barnaby Stradling, and others - not forgetting her mum and dad, both present and correct.
This tremendously fine, varied album, and another she made with similar musicians three years later, Rough Music, represent some of the most thoughtful as well as thought-provoking music of Eliza`s brilliant career.
Beautifully produced, immaculately sung and played, sensitively packaged, this is an essential recording by one of the most versatile, dynamic figures in British folk music - which finds itself on a roll these days, I`m glad to be able to say.
That`s at least partly down to the integrity and sheer musicianship of artists like Eliza Carthy - though her genes can`t have been a hindrance either.

Wonderful music from a wonderful artist.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Glee to set toes a-tapping!, 22 Jan 2013
By 
This review is from: Anglicana (Audio CD)
This a wonderful album of traditional music from these sceptred isles.

I love the combination of what almost sounds like a scratch band who just happened to pick up some instruments which were lying around, and then launched into playing and revealed how skillful they are. This feels spontaneous (I'm sure it isn't, but the absence of a 'produced' tweaked in a studio feel is what gives rise to the immediate joyousness)

Carthy's ebulliant and bouncy fiddle playing is hard to sit still with, demanding the listener jig and twirl.

Perhaps this is sacriligious, but I rather prefer daughter to mother, vocally. Waterson is superb at dark strong tough smokiness (even if she doesn't, for me, touch the parts which only June Tabor can reach in earthy ancestral soulfulness) but that is what she always does. Carthy has some of this, but there is also a spring and a lightness and flexibility to her voice. At times she sounds sweetly, sorrowfully mellow, (listen to the Bold Privateer without tears threatening, if you can!), but she can mix this all up and sing of joys and frivolities with equal ease.

I held off that final star as I was more enchanted by the combination of Carthy's singing and playing, than I was by MCMBE (Martin Carthy MBE) the instrumental piece composed by Carthy Junior for dad, and found my attention dipping a bit here, particularly as it jarred for me a little with the English, particularly North Country English, traditional heritage of music, which is the concept of this album. MCMBE is like finding a chapter from a Virginia Woolf book inexplicably in the middle of one by Fielding!
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