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ODi Maslow's Songbook (2010)


ODi, aka Claire Odlum, is a ‘new' Irish singer songwriter from County Wexford, Ireland. Since posting some early demo recordings on the web several years ago, she's played several hundred gigs and supported luminaries such as Paddy Casey and Eleanor McEvoy.

Her UK debut single A Superman - originally released in 2008 - but only recently over here, is a magnificent Karen Carpenter/KD Lang style piece of torch/twang. Unfortunately omitted from the album, the ep from which it was taken is well worth tracking down - in places bearing a striking similarity in style to the likes of Amy Wadge - top drawer vocals and an easy on the ear style that falls just the right side of the rock crossover line. And the ‘live' radio acoustic bonus tracks showcase just what a talent ODi is.

But Maslow's Songbook - which is set for an Autumn 2010 UK release sees ODi maturing as an artist and moving into the territory Sarah McLachlan once dominated. With influences ranging from The Beatles to PJ Harvey, the album was recorded on Ireland's Dingle peninsula with producer Karl Odlum (Fionn Regan, The Frames, David Kitt) and features contributions form Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames, Swell Season) and Ronan O Snodaigh (Kila).

From the radio friendly Red Light and the shimmering Something Beautiful which has echoes of The Cranberries and Eleanor McEvoy's What's Following Me rock phase, it's immediately apparent that Maslow's Songbook is ideally suited to the American FM audience - a piece of work walks that fine line between the singer songwriter / AOR boundary.

Real To Me continues to echoes The Cranberries, while Make It Better is a reflective piano based lament reminiscent of some of Sarah McLachlan best output. But the album never rests for too long in one area - Living In New York has a Joni Mitchell style song structure, One In A Million slows the mood with a broody blues feel, while I'm Done and You Can Have It All are two more infectious radio friendly numbers, and You Win But You Lose has the hallmarks of Tracy Chapman.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this very impressive set is the maturity of the songwriting and delivery - the title track, for example, is a real grower that builds and builds taking the album to a frenetic climax.

It's easy to see how Maslow's Songbook could strike a chord on the other side of the pond lifting ODi to superstar status. The trick will be to pull that particular rabbit out of the hat. One thing's for certain - if Malow's Songbook was Sarah McLachlan's new release it would be hailed as her second coming.


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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