June Tabor, |
A Quiet Eye
(Green Linnet, 2000)
June Tabor's acclaim began with Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span) and their work in the band Silly Sisters. She has worked with various artists, and her discography has grown. In her album, A Quiet Eye, Tabor's wonderful voice moves from light-heartedness to a intensity that is backed by an eleven-piece orchestra. Both the music and Tabor's voice are equally showcased in this album, but it is Tabor's voice who makes this album so worth while.
In "A Place Called England," she lists the many attributes of England in the face of retail malls and concrete parking garages. Played mostly on piano, with an occasional alto sax and other horns rising out of the rhythm, it evokes an image of the England of today, but with the urban magic of Charles de Lint's Newford stories.
Instrumentals, such as "Out of Winter" and "The Writing of Tipperary," weave into Tabor's songs of "Waltzing for Dreamers" and "It's a Long Way to Tipperay." "Out of Winter" showcases an exquisitely played violin which then drops to let Tabor sing her soulful words of "Waltzing for Dreamers."
"Pharoah" begins with a herald's announcements, and moves into a percussive beat, which holds you throughout the entire song. The words of the song meld in with the beating of the drum. However, as an amateur Egyptologist and Egyptophile, I have to somewhat take exception with the lyrics of the song, which portray the "evil" Pharoah working the slaves of the Judaic people. The music, however, is still outstanding, as Tabor's voice added punch to the percussion beats.
The last track of the album segues three songs: "The Water is Wide," "St. Agnes" and "Jeannie & Jamie." The first song evokes a romance gone awry, a love gone old. The next is an instrumental which continues the imagery. "Jeannine and Jamie" rounds out the trio with a more personal glance into love gone sour.
Tabor's voice is haunting, eerie, enthusiastic, riveting, vibrant and simply outstanding. In this album, she couples a motley of modern folk songs with traditional arrangements of ballads. It is a wonderful listen, and an even better album.
[ by Jade Falcon ]
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