Related Reviews
www.folking.com
Album tops critics 2008 chart.
more >>
The Living Tradition
Expressive and lyrically beautiful...a brilliant album.
more >>
Folkradio.com
This is a very beautiful album.
more >>
Atlanta Audio Society
Her songs have a haunting beauty.
more >>
Maverick
5 Stars
Gentle, lush album full of exquisite musical moments.
more >>
Karine Polwart
5 Stars
This is a gorgeous, delicate album.
more >>
Songlines
4 Stars
Scots singer's stunning solo set. Delicious, captivating listening.
more >>
The Stornoway Gazette
clean, well-rounded and pure sound
more >>
www.whisperinandhollerin.com
4 Stars
Serious bliss...a truly remarkable voice capable of straddling the disparate folk and pop worlds
more >>
Inverness City Advertiser
It's a record that deserves to be heard by lots more people and, most importantly, it sounds like it knows it. Excellent.
more >>
The Sunday Post
A major talent
more >>
The Skinny
3 Stars
It confirms that this talented Scottish artist can also succeed on her own.
more >>
The Blackburn Citizen
Think Bjork meets Liz Fraser with a Hebridean twist and you're getting to understand Fiona Mackenzie.
more >>
The Scotsman
An album which, one suspects, will make listeners and broadcasters sit up and take notice, well across the genre spectrum.
more >>
The Irish World
This Kate Bush meets Bjork of the Isle of Lewis is the voice taking traditional music to places it's seldom been before.
more >>
www.folking.com
I know it's only January, but this has "album of the year" written all over it!
more >>
www.folking.com
I know it's only January, but this has "album of the year" written all over it!
more >>
ZigZag Website
Pure and beautifully plaintive.
more >>
www.folking.com
If you were to measure it by the standards of most ‘folk' albums it would be leagues above for originality.
more >>

Fiona Mackenzie - Elevate - Audiophile Audition


01 August 2008
Audiophile Audition
Tom Gibb
4½ Stars

Fiona Mackenzie has been gaining a huge reputation over the last few years in folk music circles in the UK and Europe for her remarkably clear voice and her heavily Gaelic-influenced offerings. As part of the group Mackenzie, which is comprised of Fiona and her two sisters, Eilidh and Gillian, she first started singing in their native Isle of Lewis, which is part of Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Needless to say, I was expecting a mostly folk-oriented album, and while "Elevate" is that and more, it really stretches Fiona Mackenzie's boundaries significantly, both musically and stylistically. In terms of performance, recorded sound and sheer enjoyment, this surprising record is definitely in my top five for 2008!

The disc starts off with Fiona strumming her acoustic guitar and singing When The Sunny Sky Has Gone, a heartwarming little tune about her willingness to be there when skies turn grey. The track highlights her crystalline voice, and presents the song in a simple and uncluttered fashion - setting for me what I thought would be the tone of the entire album. So when the second song, In Between, powered through with a driving electric bass line and pulsating electric guitars, I was quite taken aback. The remainder of the album is no less surprising, combining elements of folk, Gaelic, pop/rock, jazz, techno and electronica! For an album comprised entirely of originals, this is without a doubt one of the most entertaining and eclectic mixtures of diverse sources I think I've ever heard.

The sound quality of this multichannel SACD disc is nothing short of amazing - Linn Records have truly outdone themselves with this excellent disc. The multichannel layer occupied the vast majority of my listening time, and it offers a wide and deep soundstage that places the players in a very real representation of the recording space, and mainly uses the surrounds to add to the overall ambience. Fiona Mackenzie's voice is rock-solid, front and center, for the most part, with the exception of the track Hi O He, where her voice comes at you from all channels to a hauntingly good effect!

The only quibble I'd have with this otherwise superb offering is its relatively brief 37 minute run time, and that alone holds it to four and a half stars. But Fiona Mackenzie's magnificent and often hauntingly evocative voice and the incredibly entertaining qualities of this disc more than outweigh that complaint. Very highly recommended!
Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Fiona MackenzieFiona Mackenzie
ElevateElevate