STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 89500-16420 LABEL: Rosette ROSCD2095 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Although country music still has plenty of purist fans who insist that genuine country has to emanate from the good ol' USA, in truth it is today an international musical language. In recent years few artists have done more to establish country's international dimensions than Scotland's Isla Grant. This, Isla's 12th album plays to all her strengths - her strong, expressive, Patsy Cline-ish voice, accompaniments that are determinably old school and avoid the saccharine embellishments of some Nashville productions and songs which never try to be too clever yet are skilfully crafted. For an example of Isla's winning way with lyrics try the tender ballad "I Still Love You" written for Isla's husband Al. "After all these many years/Through the laughter and the tears/I still love you - I still love you/I know our treasures may be few/But we have made some dreams come true/And I still love you". As I said, skilfully crafted and a lesson to all those songsmiths who confuse structural complexity or obscure metaphor with quality. Although working in the mainstream entertainment field Isla's deep Christian faith comes through on all her albums and this time "The Farmer's Prayer" is a gem, inspired by a trip the singer/songwriter made to Australia where she encountered farmers in danger of losing their land. There are one or two musical surprises on this set as well with a delightful Dixieland blues, featuring a '60s pop sound and a lilting lullaby to bring plenty of variety. The production by Isla and Johnny Scott is excellent (prior to joining Isla Johnny was the musical director of Van Morrison's band). Well worth investigating.
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