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HAZEL O'CONNOR ‘Hidden Heart’ Invisible Hands Music (2005)

I vividly remember Hazel O’Connor performing on BBC’s ‘Top Of The Pops’ her early 80’s hit ‘Eighth Day’. Since then I’ve not heard much about her musical path until this new release popped up. One thing’s for certain it is not the punk tinged music of yore!

Since 1998 Hazel O’Connor has been working with harpist Comac de Barra, including a successful show together at the Edinburgh festival. O’Connor’s voice has lost none of its power although musically this album will appeal more to fans of Celtic music. In fact one of the classic voices in Celtic music, Moya Brennan of Clannad, guests on ‘Hidden’, easily one of the album’s musical highlights.

Elsewhere fellow label mate Rob Reynolds guests on ‘Tell Me Why’, whilst ‘Acoustically Yours’ gets the album underway in fine style featuring Karl Demata playing some wonderful acoustic guitar. A couple of songs veer of into jazzier climes that are not to my taste but will doubtless delight other listeners.

Hazel O’Connor will easily win over new fans with an album full of wonderful, relaxing music with a strong folk/Celtic tinge to the sound. An album destined for Radio 2 airplay and if there is any justice in the music world, big sales.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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