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KIRSTY MCGEE - Contraband

KIRSTY MCGEE - Contraband
Hobopop Recordings HPCD007

Building on her status as a creative and contemporary singer-songwriter, Kirsty McGee has composed all 14 of the songs on this intriguing and carefully crafted CD. Her voice, melodic and always easy on the ear, is the main feature, although fine acoustic accompaniment is provided by such musicians as Inge Thomson and Mike West, among others.

As for the songs themselves, they are sometimes intense and confidential, sometimes conversational and playful. Their themes are love, relationships and emotional highs and lows, often linked to elements of the natural world – God And The Sparrow-Herder being a particular example. The tone of the music is generally mellow, with touches of poignancy, jazz and blues, alongside hints of more traditional tunes.

Song lyrics are too often overlooked or neglected. However, given the amount of care and painstaking work which has obviously gone into those on the album, it is worth persevering with the small print and light font on the sleeve to read them fully. Lines such as “Morning comes so full of its own importance” and “You’re stronger than smoke and you’re pale as the air” exemplify the innovative and poetic imagery used throughout.

Observant and insightful, skilful and sophisticated, Contraband highlights the art of the singer-song-writer in the modern folk genre. The meaning in the songs grows with repeated listening. For anyone trying to make sense of the complexities and uncertainties of emotional life, this CD will remind them that they are not alone!

Jim McCourt


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This album was reviewed in Issue 96 of The Living Tradition magazine.