STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 3761-451 LABEL: Reunion CD10000 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Canadian Carolyn's second album is such a quantum leap through hyperspace from 'I Can Hear You' that when I first played this I thought I had been given the wrong CD! Don't get me wrong, this is wonderful but it's also surprising. Happily, her brilliant songwriting is still tighter than a marginal constituency with its trademark internal rhyming. Musically, the album benefits from Carolyn taking her excellent live band into the studio to record this selection of songs. An arresting, energetic, aggressive sound adds a knockout punch to Arends' strong sense of melody pushing her into the same ballpark as someone like Aimee Mann. The title song has a surprising Brit pop/Kinks feel to it where the opener "Do What You Do" finds Carolyn rocking out! Outstanding songs include "New Year's Day" where the "seizing the day" theme of her debut is developed into a picture of every day offering fresh chances. "This I Know" is a straight ahead simple song about simple faith and powerfully effective. "Do We Dare" and "Last Thursday (Call Me Crazy)" are probably closer to the style of her debut with their acoustic flavours. The latter features some nice violin flourishes from the multi-instrumentalist and mad cap band member Spencer Capier. The former is a truly stunning provocation to embrace the mysteries of life that we too easily forget in the rush. Overall this is a fabulous follow up to her debut, a selection of well crafted songs which are at turns poignant, joyful and thought provoking. Still working in the "best kept secret" department over here, this album deserves to see Carolyn Arends' popularity grow in leaps and bounds.
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