Link to Living Tradition Homepage







The latest Sykes offering comes with a laid-back, jazzy feel in sharp contrast to the upbeat folkie dance rhythms of her last band album. It makes me think of sunshine, and Shelagh MacDonald, though traditionalists should be aware the emphasis is more towards soft rock.

There's a series of literate, moody songs, many of which sound familiar but whose writer's don't to me ring a bell with no details, suggesting they are from the pop mainstream, plus a few from Chris While & Julie Matthews, Beth Neilsen Chapman and Steve Knightley. There's even one co-authored by Sting, who even an out-of-touch folkie like me has heard of. There is supporting musicianship from Maartin Alcock and Phil Beer and also an old hand I haven't come across since Sandy Denny days, pianist 'Rabbit' Bundrick. There's some interesting cello from Kathryn Locke, which often takes, over the jazz saxophone role.

Ten songs altogether, the stand-outs on early listening being Nielsen Chapman's 'Happy Girl', the aforesaid rock star's 'Shape of My Heart', and 'wish I knew how it would Feel to be Free' by a Billy Taylor - presumably not the Hampshire cricketer. Musically there can be no criticism, but it is worrying that the CD clocks in at just over 41 minutes. Her band album was also on the short side. The danger for any artist must be that a buyer who is wavering over two albums is probably going to go for the one with the most music, and many, certainly on the folk scene, are getting on towards the hour mark now.

Bob Harragan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 69 of The Living Tradition magazine.