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"Savages" by the Webb Sisters
on 14 May 2011
"Love...hate...oh what a fine line we walk" sing the Webb Sisters, as Hattie gently plucks her harp strings. The scene is set for a sequence of songs about separation and troubled relationships, that also have a healing quality (Leonard Cohen devotees - this is our world!). The third album is always a crucial one, but Charley and Hattie Webb need have no worries; they've created a classic.
An outstanding sequence of songs opens the album - namely, "Baroque Thoughts", "Calling This a Life", "Words That Mobilise" and "Savages". The breaks between the songs are minimal, adding to a building momentum. The Webb Sisters previous album, "Daylight Crossing" was a fine piece of work with excellent harmonising and harp playing. However, the quality and variety of the songs on "Savages" raises Charley and Hattie's artistic profile to a whole new level. The songs reveal a great depth of feeling, and showcase the full spectrum of their lyrical, vocal, and musical skills.
The album is produced by the legendary Peter Asher, who also plays guitar. Other notable musicians featured include Roscoe Beck, Russ Kunkel, and Leland Sklar. Eight of the tracks on the album are from the sisters two limited-edition four-track CDs, and now have the advantage of being available for a much-wider audience. If I had to pick one track as a potential single, it would be the mesmerising and beautifully-arranged "Words That Mobilise".
At the centre of the album are three inventive new tracks - the acapella "Dark Sky", a driving country-rocker "Burn" and a more-subtle grower, "Amelie's Smile". The remainder of the album includes the sublime "If it Be Your Will" (with Leonard Cohen's spoken introduction), the moving "In Your Father's Eyes" and the anthemic "1000 Stars". There is also a haunting bonus track, "Yours Truly". This album deserves to be a huge success, and may well become the best-selling album by any of Leonard Cohen's female accompanists. Five stars? More like 1000 stars!