Most helpful positive review
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Shaw Fire Rewards
on 29 October 2009
The last (and first) album I listened to by Ian Shaw was his
2006 release 'Drawn To All Things : The Songs Of Joni Mitchell'.
It was a revelation. It's a brave singer indeed who
has the skill and self-belief to take on Ms Mitchell's
repertoire. Mr Shaw sang fourteen of her compositions
and lived to tell the tale! Bravo indeed!
His new album is a small masterpiece. Voice and piano
(he accompanies himself) nothing more, nothing less.
The concentrated intensity of his performances are
riveting. Whether in a light-as-a-feather rendition of
Noel Coward's 'If Love Were All' or the brutally
exposed interpretation of Nick Cave's transcendently
beautiful 'Into My Arms', he remains focussed and wonderfully
attentive to the spirit of his chosen material.
It is an exquisite engagement.
Even an old warhorse like 'Who Can I Turn To ?' comes up
smelling of roses given Mr Shaw's careful love and attention.
His tone is warm and rich and he is not afraid of taking
the occasional risk. Throwing a falsetto line up into the
air with little fear about where it might land.
Final track, a simple but lovely piano arrangement of the
Welsh folk-song 'Watching The White Wheat', gives a gentle
and affectionate nod to his roots and closes the door quietly
on this comsumately conceived and performed collection of songs.
In some ways Mr Shaw might be thought of as a "singer's singer"
but 'Somewhere Toward's Love' really does deliver something
richly rewarding for anyone who might want to take the chance.