JULIENNE TAYLOR Music Garden River Records TMKCD009 (2004)
Julienne is a Scottish singer who first came to fame when she was featured on Virginís Scottish Moods album (traditional songs with a contemporary feel). Her debut album Racing The Clouds Home was released in 2000 featuring covers such as a Corrs-like version of Fleetwood Macís Second hand News. And the Sun has described her as Scotlandís answer to Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones.
Initial impressions of this follow up album are exceeding favourable. Again, it is for the most part (fifteen of the eighteen tracks) an album of covers. Now usually covers are pale inferior versions that make you want to bring your breakfast back. And even excellent singers like Eva Cassidy can struggle to add value.
But this album has a gentle ethereal quality - acoustic, strings, harp and multi layered vocals. It opens with All Out Of Love (Air Supply) and the nice thing about it, is the time sequence has been tampered with - making it familiar, but different. Pleasant stuff. And even a songs as familiar as Your Song and God Only Knows are delivered with unfamiliar twists.
Julienneís vocals remind of a blended mix of Andrea Corr, Kate Bush, Judie Tzuke and Lene Marlin. Theyíre always well up-front in the mix and often multi layered to good effect. And of course, thereís the obligatory version of Fragile by Sting. Again, a pretty decent version.
So, Scotlandís answer to Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones? Perhaps not. The problem is, take any one, two or three tracks, and theyíre excellent. Music to chill to. But when you get eighteen one after the other, it becomes just a little too sugar-coated and you begin to crave for something a little more spicy.
At the end of the day the album itís a nice album with some excellent covers. And if youíve had a hard day at the office, itíll go well with the pipe and slippers. But donít be surprised if youíre giving it Zs before track eighteen.