Maria Doyle Kennedy - 'Sing'

by NicolaByrne
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on 06 September 2012 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Mermaid Records
Rating 9/10

The transition from actress to songstress is often a dubious one, but Ireland’s Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Tudors, Downton Abbey) has always been a singer when out of historical dress. Her fourth solo release, 'Sing', is one of the best Irish albums of the year—if not the best. An intimate 35 minutes of beautifully crafted folk is punctuated with eclectic guests that compliment, as opposed to buoy. Damien Rice features on title-track ‘Sing’, a luscious contrast of voices as angelic 'da-da-da-das' intertwine with heavenly Celtic melodies; a true Irish watermark remains, their tones complementing each other like they’re looking for a promotion. On the other hand, ‘Yes We Will’ recruits John Prine’s Cash tenor to create a textured contrast of light and bright, with deep, sallow smoky vocals. The 10-track collection sounds is so consistent, yet subtly diverse: it’s a treat. A Sahara-like echo brings an old Western quality to ‘Hola Luna’, while hints of Spanish cha-cha (by way of chiming piano) flow through ‘Twelve White Horses’. ‘The Most Beautiful People Are Broken’ takes a slow traipse across the urban desert, as soulful jazz-influenced folk is layered with luxurious 'oohs'. “How can I give you my best when I haven’t yet found it?” Doyle Kennedy sings herself out on ’Promises’. She might be much warmer than she thinks.


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