Maeve O'Boyle - All My Sins (vinyl) - Bluesbunny

OK, so this is actually a reissue but, as it wasn't available on vinyl first time round back in 2009, a new review of Maeve O'Boyle's "All My Sins" seemed justified.

Even when it was originally released, this was never going to be an album that would shock the world. Instead, it turned out to be the kind of mannered and precisely assembled album that would appeal to those possessed of class and good taste and, like all gourmet dishes, it was seasoned to perfection with the likes of John McCusker's fiddle adding sonic piquancy as and when required.
 
Perhaps the most remarkable thing though was that this was Ms O'Boyle's debut album. She sounds confident throughout with only the merest hint of world weariness evident in her vocal stylings. Her songs have that same kind of precision and maturity that you would expect of the old guard in this part of the world.  I try to avoid mentioning Deacon Blue whenever possible but if she were the musical child of anyone then it would be them.  "Facing Home", in particular, could even be seen as a homage to their style and even in "Taxi" - perhaps the best example here of the kind of song made for a radio that doesn't exist anymore - she wraps the emotions up in a nice bow just like they used to do. Those songs, though, are merely warm ups as Ms O'Boyle starts stretching herself properly with "Swimming Upstream" filling it with an outswept elegance all her own as she goes.

"Butterfly" is the kind of song that could easily put a singer into diva mode but Ms O'Boyle instead layers the words between evenly distributed passion and reticence. Fortunately, it's not all ballads and a similar level of control is exercised over up-tempo songs like "Carnival Attraction".  At the end of the day however, it is the sophistication of this album that surprises the most and, even after it has become your turntable's new best friend, you'll want to put this album back into the rack just so you can rediscover it again.

The immaculate pressing - housed in a nice polylined inner sleeve, for a change - came in a glossy gatefold sleeve with a foldout lyric insert. The sound quality was rather different to the CD with the bottom end (ooherrrmissus...) much more solid and defined and Ms O'Boyle sounding even classier than before.

25 May 2011