Friday, 19 August 2016

Courtney Marie Andrews - Honest Life, album review


This is pretty special, Andrews' third album though my first of hearing her, and the immediate compulsion is to compare her exquisite voice to previous female greats - as reviews I have quickly read do - but I will instead comment only on the powerful clarity that does indeed remind of others, but Courtney Marie Andrews possesses a Country inflection [this is a potent tonal thing, not a warble or a yodel [!] but a lilt] which defines its distinctiveness.

The songs she sings on Honest Life are self-penned and sustain the Country lilt musically, especially in the pedal steel which might seem like a simplistic touchstone. It is overall the country folk of late 60s/early 70s too, exemplified on the beautiful Let the Good One Go, her vocal soaring and tailed off with tight harmonies. The title song that follows this is sweetly similar, and sweetly simple it its lyrical reflection on intentions and hope. And as a trio of perfection, next Table for One is a poignant lament on loneliness, gorgeously if sadly sung, our empathy aroused in that resonant tone.

Closer Only in My Mind encapsulates Andrews' immediate appeal, simple piano and sweeping strings pretty enough, but it is the powerful vocal that arches over this with such commanding presence.

Highly recommended and can be reviewed and purchased here.

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