Eleanor McEvoy – Alone

They Say :- It’s a really unusual album for me in that it’s just me on my own, playing as I do on stage. It came about as a result of me having a few days off in the middle of an English tour. There wasn’t enough time to come home but the thought of staying in (yet another) hotel or B&B was more than I could cope with at that point.

We Say :- After the stuff I’ve assaulted my eardrums with over the past few weeks, this album was a refreshing change. Dublin born Eleanor McEvoy has one of the most beautiful female voices in the world. It would be a crying shame to overshadow the vocals with too much of anything else, and thankfully the people responsible for this album are in agreement. It’s due for release on 12th September in the UK on Moscodisc Records.

This album is a collection of acoustically driven songs, stripped down and laid bare. Some performed with piano, some backed with a minimal band, but every one is hauntingly beautiful. This gives the album an intimate feel,with Eleanor at the center exposing her heart and soul and leaving herself extremely vulnerable. It’s this vulnerability that adds to the appeal of the album. You can tell that she’s put everything into it, both musically and lyrically. Some of the songs are extremely powerful and moving, with the minimalist style only adding to the impact. It really is a case of “less is more” with this record.

It’s hard to compare Eleanor to anyone else, she has a style all of her own, but Suzanne Vega and Laura Marling spring instantly to mind, but these are more passing references than direct comparisons. This is Eleanor’s ninth studio album so she’s no stranger to the world of music. Since her first album was released in 1993, her journey has been tumultuous to say the least. I won’t bore you with the details, but her life experiences have undoubtedly affected her music directly.

While she’s content to write thought provoking ballads, she’s also not afraid to inject a little cynicism into her songs, or even a little cheeky humour. There’s nothing much worse than musicians that take themselves too seriously. Eleanor gets a resounding ‘Not Guilty’ verdict of that particular crime.  There’s even a cover version on here, and a very good one at that. It’s an interesting take on Barry McGuire’s “Eve Of Destruction” and she puts her own unique twist on it and while it’s the loudest track on the album it’s lost none of the poignancy of the rest of the songs.

This is an astounding piece of work, very moving and emotional. It is music in it’s very purest form, and it leaves nowhere for the performers to hide any imperfections. Does it have any imperfections? Well probably yes, as there’s no such thing as a perfect album, but in all honesty, this comes as close to perfection as anything I’ve heard in quite some time.  It’s relaxed, thought provoking and it will cocoon you in it’s soft warm embrace and soothe your soul. Just right when you’re winding down after a hard rocking weekend.