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EDDI READER - The Best Of Eddi Reader

EDDI READER - The Best Of Eddi Reader
Reveal Records REVEAL059CDX

The 30 tracks on this double CD take us on Eddi Reader’s journey from pop through folk and the songs of Rabbie Burns to broader realms as a chanteuse. Throughout, her beautiful voice swoops and soars effortlessly across octaves, climbing to dizzying soprano heights.

Three neatly and skilfully crafted tracks are included from the joyous Fairground Attraction days, including the band’s hit singles, and the self-penned Whispers. Four Burns’ songs are covered. These adhere to tradition and authenticity, but are made fresh and accessible for a modern audience, and infused with genuine passion, Leezy Lindsay being perhaps the best example. Elsewhere, Eddi’s versatility is shown by her moving across a series of styles, with intimate melodies (for instance, Galileo), love ballads (such as Kiteflyers Hill) and ventures into blues. Then comes the wistful Follow My Tears, in the mould of a standard folk ballad about emigration, which could be sung at any folk venue.

Boo Hewardine features on several writing credits. An unusual version of the Si Kahn song, What You Do With What You’ve Got, is intriguing. Other highlights are Wild Mountainside and Dragonflies.

The Best Of Eddi Reader celebrates the superb instrument of the lady’s clear, smooth and silky voice. Thoroughly professional throughout, with beautifully produced tracks and highly competent musicianship, the lady spans genres and blurs the boundaries between them. From pop to folk to blues, the album is highly enjoyable and a picture of Eddi Reader’s capacity to embrace widely diverse styles of music.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 114 of The Living Tradition magazine.