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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 13 July 2017
as stated
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VINE VOICEon 11 November 2003
The second solo release from the one-time All-Ireland Singing Champion and former member of Oige. As with Cara's first release, husband Sam and brother-in-law Seth both play on this album, and sister Mary once again provides backing vocals. Recorded in Somerset, Sam is also listed the album's producer.
Cara's first album featured only three songs that weren't traditional tunes. With Sweet Liberty, the mix is slightly different - five of the twelve tracks are traditional, five are written by Cara and Sam, with the remaining two having been written by others. One of these songs is "There Were Roses", written by the legendary Tommy Sands. Cara initially recorded it for use on a BBC TV show called "Billy Connolly's World Tour of England, Ireland and Wales". After the episode featuring the track was broadcast, the message boards on Cara's website were virtually flooded (pun entirely intended !) with demands that this song be released. There's no doubt that it will be one of the highlights of the album for many people - it is superbly delivered.
For me, the highlights of this album are - as with her first release - the traditional songs. "The Winding River Roe", which gives a nod to Cara's hometown of Dungiven, features only Cara's voice and Sam tinkling the keyboards. Cara's delivery is so good on this track, I couldn't help wondering why the song hadn't been recorded unaccompanied. Running it close for my Song of the Album award is "The Emigrant's Farewell". One of the songs on the album to benefit from Brian Finnegan's flute playing, it also sees Liam O'Maonlai joining Mary on backing vocals. Liam, of course, is better known as the lead singer of the Hothouse Flowers.

The album opens with "High Tide", one of the songs Sam and Cara wrote themselves. It and "Broken Bridges" would be the best of the self-penned bunch. "Where Are You ?" nearly took that title - largely a gentle tune until the uileann pipes cut in. However, I just couldn't shake the feeling that it was drifting a little towards the sort of territory associated with the Corrs.
I'd only have one minor criticism of the album - I think it would've benefited from a little more variety in the backing music. While the pipes and flute popped up every once in a while, there still seemed to be an over-reliance on Sam and his keyboards.
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on 5 November 2003
We unfortunately live in a world where our music seems to be going the same way as our food. Fast, rehashed, unimaginative and ultimately unfulfilling. But just when I was about to give up and turn my back on McMusic I stumbled by accident, across a review of a Cara Dillon concert. It got me interested enough to visit her web site and listen to the sample tracks. I quickly bought this and her debut album and was lucky enough to see her in concert recently. It was simply a priviledge to hear her live.
I know my clumsy review could never do justice to Cara's exquisite voice and beautiful music but I am doing my best to spread the word. This album could easily come with a money back guarantee, it's that good! Do yourself a big favour and buy it, then tell your friends to buy it.
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on 14 October 2003
On first hearing, this album didn't seem as good as the superb 'Cara Dillon' but after constant playing and having the luxury of seeing and hearing these songs performed live, I would now rate this record as good as anything produced this year. It is beautifully sung, played and produced. Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman make a fantastic partnership. The traditional songs are all excellent with 'Erin the Green', for me, the most beautiful (almost sacred in its beauty). The self-penned songs (5 of them) tend to grow on you with personal favourites being 'High Tide'. 'Falling Like a Star' and the brilliant 'Where Are You?'-this latter song has a tremendous arrangement as well as lovely shifts in tempo and mood-brilliant.
As I am old!! I can only compare the excitement of this fledgling career to that of first hearing Mary Black around the time of her 'By the Time it Gets Dark' album. The two are quite unalike in many ways but there is the same excitement, for me anyway, of an artist coming out of the folk tradition in new and exciting ways
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on 29 September 2003
I have been a fan of Cara Dillon since her first album. She has one of the purest voices I have ever heard. This Album is as good as the last.
The production is superb, and her and Sam must be very proud that they are still producing such high quality stuff. This kind of thing puts to shame all those talent-less want to-be's on Pop Idol. She will never earn as much, or achieve their fame levels. But she remains true to her roots, and the music benefits from that.
Her version of "There were Roses" stood out in the Billy Connolly's tour of England, Ireland and Wales. And fits in brilliantly on this Album, simple, subtle, poignant and beautiful.
"The Winding River Roe" harks back to her roots in Northern Ireland, and is just awesome (I have heard her sing it live and am so glad it is on this Album)
Buy this Album, and you will never regret it.
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on 2 October 2003
Cara Dillon is a fantastic live artist. Whether with the Lakeman brothers or on the present tour with her expanded set of musicians she delivers her songs with a depth and clarity that sets her apart. Her first studio album was haunting in its simplicity relying mainly on traditional songs laid sparce to illuminate her unique vocal style. This new album represents a move towards a fuller sound and includes several self penned songs. It still retains a deceptive simplicity but is augmented by superb musicianship and strong songs. Whilst never reaching the heights of her live performances it is an album well worth buying. Go see her live, if you can, but buy this anyway - you won't be disappointed!
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on 30 September 2003
The new album is simply superb - another astounding and mesmerising result picking up from where the first eponymous 'Cara Dillon' album left off. 'Where Are You' with its 'hidden' verse and fabulous cut between the Uillean pipes and Cara at the end, 'Broken Bridges' with Seth Lakeman's plucked violin and those bells ringing at the end of 'Falling Like a Star' - sounds of exquisite, poised, beauty indeed amid so much to cherish. And of course: Cara's voice. Glorious.
'Sweet Liberty' offers a lot more of Sam and Cara's own work, much of which was played on their 2002 tour.
If you're a fan of Cara then you'll adore this. If you haven't heard her yet then buy the first album 'Cara Dillon' too and be converted. Forever.
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on 28 March 2004
This album was released two years after Cara's first self titled album. A lot has happened since: marriage, wowing festival crowds, collecting awards like they were confetti. So has the music changed? Not much. Cara is in for the long haul and is content to slowly develop her music while remaining true to her muse. Here are 12 more traditional and folk songs with her beautiful, yearning voice and Sam Lakeman's simple but spacious accompaniments. This is an equal partnership and many of the songs owe just as much to his arrangements - some appropriatley intimate, some conjuring up the big sound you might expect from a rock band. U2 would be proud of the huge arcs of melody on 'Bonny Bonny'. 'Broken Bridges' and 'Standing on the Shore' marry Irish and downbeat dance rythms.

The album's theme is a traditional one, the memories of an emigrant singing about the old country and old loves. Cara sings about the area she grew up in - County Derry - with two local traditional songs 'The Winding River Roe' and 'The Gem of the Roe' plus several others about leaving Ireland. The closing track is 'The Emigrants farewell'. An album highlight? Pretty much evey track, but on 'Falling Like a Star' Cara takes on the mantle of an Irish Kate Bush and wears it well. As ever Cara's voice tastes like honey and stings like salt. Its a bittersweet liberty.
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on 4 October 2003
WOW! What can I say. I was clicking through amazon one day and saw a small cd sleeve and under it it said Cara Dillon Sweet Liberty. I decided to check it out. I went on to listen to audio samples of the album at caradillon.com and imediately releasd that this album was something special!
After receiving it in the post some days later, I practically ran to my stereo to listen to it.
A beautiful album, there is nothing bad to say about it. The highlights are Where Are You and its unique piping twist, the Emigrant's farewell with Laim O' Maonlai backing cara's crystalline, angelic voice on the last verse. It makes one wish that they belong to Ireland. The song is a classic.
High Tide- Fantastic, There Were Roses (tears) Erin the Green (beautiful, tears, beautiful) and so on and so on.........
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on 9 October 2003
Every now and again, amongst the many cd's one might buy, one truly stands out. Sweet Liberty is such. Amazingly, this is also true for her first album. She deserves much more success than she will probably ever desire or achieve.
For all those people that never discover and enjoy the beauty of Cara's voice and the wonderful songs and arrangements here - you are truly missing out.
For whatever you have achieved recently, reward yourself by buying this album !
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