Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
A Review "from me"
on 4 November 2009
This is a great album of "traditional" music. If you are a fan of that genre my advice is simply that you buy it. If you would like a little more of my own opinion first, read on.
I bought the album after seeing Julie and band play on the album launch tour. I had had very limited previous exposure to her music. On stage, her humility and gentle wit shone forth, ever accompanied by consummate professionalism. Somehow she lets the music speak for itself. There is none of the ego and crass commercialism which weighs so heavily on many young musicians today (albeit usually of a rather different genre). This comes through in the album too. On the sleeve, Julie lays bare her manifesto: songs are like presents, you may receive them and enjoy them, but also must you pass them on to others. Some presents are a joy to receive, others less so. This collection of songs falls squarely into the former category. Fowlis' singing is technically excellent, but - crucially - she is possessed of the ability to convey something of her own character through her voice. This elevates the songs to the level of a dynamic, spirited, and thoroughly interesting conversation in which one is privileged to be a listener.
Of the individual songs, I consider track three to be the weakest. It sounds rather too much like a folk pop song. However, this does not matter greatly: I have never yet found an album where I was completely taken by every track. That the rest of the tracks appeal to me is more than enough. I am hard put to name a favourite, but at the moment track four has has been listened to the most. The album is worth the money for this alone. If I have heard its like before, it was not in the Scottish tradition. The beat is amazing; the time signature borders on the psychedelic. This is a clear demonstration of Fowlis' vocal ability, upon which I have already eulogised. Here is the evidence. What could easily sound rigid for fear of losing hold of the unconventional beat sounds so natural. This track, and others, are also testament to the highly skilled musicians who ably support Fowlis' obvious talent. I could go on, but in the interests of retaining a modicum of brevity, I won't. In any case, my enthusiasm for each track would become repetitive. A wonderful achievement. I can't wait to buy the other albums.