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Fiona Mackenzie - Elevate - Maverick


01 May 2008
Maverick
5 Stars

The most striking thing about this record - apart from the lush vocals that is - is the exquisite production. But that's no surprise with Calum Malcolm, of Blue Nile fame, on the desk. With a friend like that, who needs reviewers? But here goes anyway...

The first track on "Elevate" - When the Sunny Sky Has Gone Away - is a real winner, a pretty love song with a lovely retro piano sound and subtle harmonies, it really showcases MacKenzie's clear and - somehow forthright - vocals. Bye Bye is a strange ditty, the tale of a jilted lover who hasn't quite accepted her fate. The music is haunting an unnerving but it fits the sentiment nicely. A Little While Longer suffers from the mid-album blues and is a bit filleresque but we can't all be Amy Winehouse.

 So far, so standard love song. But halfway through this pretty disc, MacKenzie launches into what she does best. Known as one of the UK's foremost Gaelic singers, An Roghain is a lovely setting of a poem by Sorley Maclean and translates as The Choice, Duisg Mo Chride is a self-penned number featuring her sister Eilidhon on harmonies and tells of a red-haired lover with words of substance. Hi O He is a techno-folk extravaganza redolent of Capercaillie and a welcome anachronism on this gentle, soaring album.


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