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Heidi Talbot - Here We Go, 1, 2, 3

Heidi Talbot New Album“Will you remember me?” sings Heidi Talbot on A Song for Rose, one of the later tracks on her album Here We Go, 1,2,3 released this week.  On the evidence presented here, the answer is a definite no.

It gives your reviewer no pleasure to come to such a blunt conclusion (especially given the subject matter of that song.)  Over the last few years Talbot, one of the most accessible of folk artists, has released a string of albums with well chosen material, John McCusker's very able production and of course her own distinctive vocals.  So it's a major disappointment to listen to something so dull.

Talbot's previous release,  Angels Without Wings, was a triumph, and not just because it included some of the very best folk and Americana performers.  Since then her life has changed significantly:  A new house and recording studio, another child and the death of her mother.  From a musical point of view, there have been departures too.  Eight of the ten tracks here are self penned, and that's the problem.  The material simply isn't strong or varied enough.  The individual songs are pleasant enough, but forgettable and no amount of expert production or vocal delivery is going to rescue them.   As a collection, Here We Go, 1,2,3 is just too one paced to keep the interest.

Bright spots?  A couple:  McCusker's beautifully expressive violin on the end of penultimate track Chelsea Piers and a rendition of Natalie Merchant's Motherland, a song which is bleak and melancholy with just a tinge of hope.  The rest of the album is not so much understated as unconscious.

Here We Go, 1,2,3 is released on 23rd September 2016 on Navigator records.

- Les Pilling


Heidi Talbot

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