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AMY STUDT My Paper Men (2008)

If the name sounds familiar, it probably is. Amy had three top 20 hits back in 2002/03 - Just a Little Girl, Misfit, and Under The Thumb and her debut album False Smiles sold around 200,00 copies. At the time she was heralded as a British Avril Lavigne, but diminishing sales, unabated by a re-release featuring a cover of Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do - ended up with her being dropped by her record label.

Disillusioned, Amy retired to working in a Cornish coffee shop, but she couldn’t walk away completely and now, after touring with Razorlight in 2006 under the alias of Jane Wails, she’s back with a new and very mature album that should appeal to fans of singer songwriters such as Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Imogen Heap.

The album opens with the quirky Sad, Sad World followed by the Amos-like piano based She Ran with a terrific chorus. Furniture was the lovely single released last year that echoes Hounds Of Love era Kate Bush. She Walks Beautiful is another superb track again bringing Tori Amos and Kate Bush to mind. Walking Out is a highlight – this time having the rhythmic feel of Imogen Heap. The first ‘official’ single off the album Chasing The Light, is one of the heavier moments on the album with a thunderous chorus.

Paper Made Man, the title track is another cracker, while the closing track Here Lies Love opens with an almost Floyd-like feel. But what strikes you most about the album is that its not just a collection of decent songs – it’s a mature body of work that would grace the catalogue of many of the so called industry ‘heavyweights’. It’s a quite stunning return to form and you’ll be hard pushed to hear a more powerful performance from a British singer songwriter this year.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** 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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