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A weak debut
on 31 July 2011
I absolutely loved Laura in All Angels - she was my favourite vocalist of the group (though they're all fantastic) and whilst I was saddened when I heard she was leaving the group, I was cheered up immensely after learning she had signed a solo record deal. To be fair, if I see an album full of typical well-known and over recorded songs, I know that I'm not expecting much and such was the case with 'The Last Rose'. My love for Wright's voice made me buy it anyway, but despite my low expectations, the album actually turned out to be less pleasing than I originally predicted. Wright's vocal is as beautiful as always but her voice as a solo really showed me just how much Wright was pushed and complemented by her fellow ex-Angels and how much, in fact, she relied on them for interpretation and emotion. Wright's voice sounds stunning, but it's empty. Her delivery is that of any other choir girl. I just want to shake her and get some feeling out of her.
There's also the problem that the track list is dull and recorded by too many other artists, but as a folk concept album, one has to accept that to complain about that is to miss the point of the album's aim. Even so there's no effort on Patrick Hawes part to give this recording anything distinctive. There's much I can say about the dreariness of this album, but the main feeling I am left with after listening to it is that I was wrong about Wright all these years. I always thought she could just leave All Angels and be an amazing solo artist - if 'The Last Rose' is the best she can muster then I think she made a grave error in leaving the group and I'm no longer the gushing fan that I once was.