6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2004
I met Eleanor McEvoy a few years' back at an event in Emo Court inIreland. She told me about Yola, her last album, and I was intrigued. Sointrigued, I never actually got round to buying it. So when I saw EARLYHOURS in my local record store, I had to make amends, and I'm glad, now,that I did.
I say 'now', because, at first, the over-layed, centre-speaker vocals weretoo in my face for comfort and that, along with an apparent change ofaccent, had a distancing effect. However, by the time the finely craftedtrumpets of track-one were fading, I was changing my mind.
Track 2 momentarily disappointed with an Erik Vissar type guitar introthat was a little retro Mary Coughlan for my taste, and track 3 I found alittle cringeworthy (lyrically, not musically).
But from track 4 on, this album kicks ass. The neatly-hooked openingsingle melts popily into an excellent musical track that sounds almosttraditional. The perfection of the production is matched by the restrainton Ave Maria, a track that could have been embarassing, but which soars,paradoxically, on the restraint both of the lyric and the muted piano. The next track has an upbeat tempo slightly out of kilter with her tributeto a dying friend. It jars only slightly, and is no doubt intentional.
The closing numbers are wonderful: Make Mine a Small One and At the End ofthe Day are pure singalong folk at its most refined, crafted andintelligent. (Days Roll By is a bit sub Shawn Colvin and not worthy of herbut you kind of forgive it 'cause you like the album so much at thisstage. The vibes are good).
All in all, Eleanor McEvoy is a wonder. This album hasn't left my carstereo for a week, and that's saying something. An intelligent andpassionate musician/lyricist, she is also strikingly handsome. And whileyou might not say that her voice soars in a Celine Dion kind of way(though, god help us, who would what that anyway)her vocals effect in away that is both meaningful and intentional.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2005
This is a very good album. It is beautifully sung, played and produced. In terms of current enthusiasms for solo women singers McEvoy leaves most of them standing. This is very Irish but also universal in its appeal and it contains some excellent songs, personal favourites being, DJ, Ave Maria (a beautiful challenging song for the Catholic Church), Make Mine a Small One (the best on the album and quite sublime, really beautiful melody and fantastic piano from Brian Connor), Days Roll by ( a great rocker) and Where Did My Life Go-an excellent reading of Bert Jansch's song for Sandy Denny. There is also an excellent jazzy version of Memphis Tennessee. It really deserves 4.5 stars and with more listening may well qualify for 5.Definitely worth buying, especially if you've not got any of her other albums.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2004
This is one of the first SACDs I bought and at first I was slightly disappointed at the apparent lack of "surround sound" effect. However, after a few more listens I started to appreciate the mood SACD creates with very clear voice and instrument definition and the mood or aura she creates in the quieter tracks. You definitely get an intimate sensation of being close to the artist and ultimately the music. Fantastic for the committed McEvoy fan but also well recommended for newcomers to both the artist and the world of SACD.