Swear I'm not Paul: Album Review: Cathy Davey - The Nameless

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Album Review: Cathy Davey - The Nameless

Cathy Davey - The Nameless

After being knocked off her one-week perch at number 1 in the Irish charts, Cathy Davey could not have asked to have been supplanted by anyone closer to home. Conor J O'Brien did not only record Villagers' Becoming a Jackal recently, he also was involved in the entirety of Cathy Davey's third album The Nameless. Oh and it's still #2 this week. Not a bad 1-2, right?

Davey's third record may well be her best yet. It takes everything that made Something Ilk and Tales of Silversleeve great and turned them up a notch. Her singing is as bewitching as ever, and her and O'Brien's music is first-rate throughout.

Opening song and title track 'The Nameless' is a captivating tune, showing off her powerful vocals, especially during the splendid closing section. It's like wrapping yourself in the warmest of blankets and blocking everything else out.

There's much to enjoy here, 'Army of Tears' with Neil Hannon is led by wonderful strings until it leaps into a wonderful chorus. Symphonic brilliance. The press release calls the tune the best ever Eurovision song not to appear at the Eurovision, but I feel that belittles it. It's so much better. 'In He Comes', 'Bad Weather', and 'Wild Rum' are equally beautiful, the first is a particular standout in the Kate Bush mould.

Single 'Little Red' showcases her talents further, and highlights how her move away from a major label has actually helped rather than hindered her career. It has given her the time to record something as mystifyingly beautiful as this.

The album is masterfully arranged, a tremendous job has gone into the album, from everyone involved. But the star of the show remains that gorgeous voice. There isn't many better instruments in Ireland. Glorious, and yet another reason why 2010 is proving to be the best year ever for Irish music.

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