Maeve O'Boyle - All My Sins - SoundStage.com
Over the past two or three years, Linn has been trying to expand the genres of its recordings and has added several notable rock albums from other labels to its download site (Luna by The Aliens is my favorite). The label has also made an effort to record more diverse music on its own. The latest effort is All My Sins, an album by 21-year-old Scottish songwriter Maeve O'Boyle. The young artist sings naturally in a voice that can caress or incite, and the songs about family, lost love, and Glasgow are polished diamonds that belie her age. Her music, influenced by the records her father played for her when she was young, is pop rock laced with country and folk. Her band is tight, though its members are seldom asked to show off. They simply provide solid backing for O'Boyle's penetrating vocals while making a few subtle instrumental comments along the way. Linn's recording sounds a bit thick at first, but after listening for a while you can hear its transparency and realize that the engineers are merely capturing the true sound of the band. The bass is solid and very well focused, and the soundstage is moderately deep, though it's not so wide. Picky comments aside, it's an auspicious debut that will have its listeners anticipating whatever comes next. This is a hybrid multichannel SACD (Linn 318) and is also available in advanced-resolution download formats.