STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 4993-882 LABEL: Alliance ALD052 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £2.50
Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
It never fails to amaze me why some very talented people never get the recognition their talent deserves, whilst run-of-the-mill people are hyped sky high. Those with long memories (and all the Cross Rhythms back issues) will know that (to quote ol' TC from his review of Shirley's last CD), "the eminently talented and willfully neglected" Miss Novak has consistently put out excellent recordings, right back to 1985 and the '7 Trax' cassette on Ears & Eyes (I've just managed to get a copy for my UCB Cross Rhythms Vinyl Frontier show, so I can confirm its quality). Her Myrrh album 'Semi-Aware' in 1989 should have been the start of something big; sadly, she's had to finance her own recordings recently, but this album could be "it" at last- Well done, Alliance! Those who know Shirley's work will know what to expect: no sign of triumphant "Jesus Jesus Jesus" lyrics, it's all about the pain and problems of real life - single parenthood ("Arms Of My Baby"), family breakup from the daughter's point of view ("Need You Back"), the torment of the ending of a relationship gone wrong ("Beyond Me" and "Crazy"). Her triple-header tours with Caroline Bonnett and Sue Rinaldi have bome fruit in that Caroline arranged and produced four tracks, on which Sue joins in on backing vocals. The others feature Gavin Courtie's bass guitar and programming. Dave Anderson's pedal steel guitar and some tasty accordion from Liz Welch. Perhaps my favourite track is "I Wish", highlighting the difficulty of leading the Christian life. As one who stumbles with monotonous regularity. I was very blessed by this one. Easy listening this ain't: listen with care and you'll get blessed as I was.
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