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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May She Ever Remain Wild and Undaunted, 4 Oct. 2007
By 
William J. Walker "Billyjay" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild and Undaunted (Audio CD)
I found this album quite by chance. It was listed on a review site under the heading `artists to watch', intrigued by the description I thought I would take a chance and bought the CD. It is a discovery like this that more than justifies the inevitable disappointments that you get when taking such an approach.

Of the eleven beautifully crafted songs here, three are self-written compositions and the others are Trad/arr. by... but without the credits to guide you it would be impossible to tell which is which, as she takes all these songs and makes them truly her own.

I can't really put my finger on how she has done it but Lisa Knapp has managed to make her re-workings of the traditional songs on this album , despite the use of almost exclusively acoustic instruments, feel very modern and fresh, without sacrificing the integrity of the material.

Her voice is wonderful, but there are a lot of good singers around. Thankfully there is more to this artist than that and it is ultimately the songs and their arrangements that make this such a fabulous record. The first couple of songs are excellent and hold to a fairly traditional feel, but the album really gets into its stride with the utterly gorgeous `Beggar Beggar', a brilliant proof of the maxim: `less is more', as the song is carried by just Lisa's voice and plucked fiddle. Equally beguiling is the title track and is a sharp contrast to the former as it features a range of instruments, it is the only track to include drumming and a rousing rendition of the song it truly is. I shan't attempt a `track by track' review but another real highlight, for me, is the original composition `Ride Along' which, with its downbeat lyrics and moodily atmospheric tone, attains a strangely `epic' feel that had me mesmerised from start to finish.

This is folk music but it is folk music at its most warm and welcoming and will surely delight a wide range of music lovers, not just fans of the genre. Highly recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern pastoral classic, 19 Sept. 2009
By 
Mr. N. J. Harding (Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild and Undaunted (Audio CD)
Although this record has been around for a couple of years, I guess a number of people are now looking to discover it after Lisa completing back-to-back tours with Fife's finest James Yorkston.

Replaying `Wild and Undaunted', it still sounds fresh two years later and in `There U R' must contain the first nu-folk anthem. The nagging fiddle refrain and Lisa's swopping vocal is massive, uplifting and genuinely thrilling. Live, it brings boys to tears and Goths to wide grins. Epic.

The record is a healthy mix of traditional material (with some excellent and imaginative new arrangements) and original compositions. In terms of the former `Begger Begger' and `Lavender' are well worthy of special mention. For original material `There U R' and `Little Bird' with it's wonderful banjo part take some beating.

A cracking record that deserve to be in your collection, recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant folk classic, 14 Feb. 2008
By 
C. Button "cb432" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild and Undaunted (Audio CD)
Ever felt your life is missing something? THIS IS IT.
I really cannot rate this album highly enough. I fell for Lisa's music as soon as I heard the track 'Wild and Undaunted' on the Mike Harding show - a visit to Lisa's Myspace page, where 'Beggar, Beggar' made me cry and demanded endless replays, consolidated the deal for me. Perhaps Lisa's main talent lies in her classily subtle, often stripped-down arrangements that still manage to be eerily evocative and lushly pictorial, making even popular traditional songs like 'A Blacksmith' sound as immediate and beautiful as though newly minted. Never is this subtlety more breathtaking than in 'Beggar, Beggar', which has Lisa merely plucking a violin and singing, in heartrendingly plaintive tones, an age-old song of love, loss and final reconciliation. On songs like this one almost hears the strains of earthy old field recordings, or luminous folk forebears such as Anne Briggs and Jeannie Robertson.

'Wild and Undaunted' is, however, also an album with a genuine sense of fun and mischief, as brilliantly demonstrated on the standout title track, which tells the tale of a highway robber celebrating his thieving feats before he is executed. From the opening drone to the climactic bursts of violins, the track hops, skips and jumps with playful aplomb, overturning expectations and demanding the listener's attention and enjoyment. 'The Dew is on the Ground' firmly places Lisa among the deserved echelons of young folk aristocracy, showcasing her beautifully unique voice and versatile fiddle technique to a tee. While tracks like this are as 'Trad' as they come, though never without a twinkle in the eye, the album is constantly experimenting with sounds and effects - take the breathily eerie backing vocals on 'Salisbury Plain', reminiscent somewhat of Miranda Sex Garden, or the chillingly beautiful string arrangement which bursts into 'Bitter Withy' in Robert Kirbey-esque tones.
Lisa's songwriting is also excellent, and the two original offerings on this album slot in effortlessly with the traditional material. 'Little Bird' is a beautifully intimate track, while the co-written 'There U R' is stunningly panoramic, reaching Bjork-like climactic heights of joy and longing.
This album is, quite simply, faultless. So go on, buy it - you really haven't lived yet.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no title, 19 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Wild and Undaunted (Audio CD)
Title in itself was reason not to hesitate. The music is fine and light, it's the qulaity of her voice that is the quality of the cd. Little earth and little discord. Strangely little text too, the songs are not narratives but scapes in and through the voice. Lovely.
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5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 25 Mar. 2007
By 
Andrew (Bath, England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wild and Undaunted (Audio CD)
If you've heard her on Radio 3 you'll know her distinctive style. The album won't disappoint, its very pleasant listening. Varied enough to keep you interested without deviating far. Doubtless someone more musically knowledgeable than I can better explain exactly how and why this is such a fine little album, but I like it simply because it's so, well, undaunted.
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Wild and Undaunted
Wild and Undaunted by Lisa Knapp (Audio CD - 2008)
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