Album Reviews

Thea Gilmore – Recorded Delivery

(Fruitcake) UK release date: 10 August 2009

With Thea Gilmore’s star firmly in the ascendancy thanks to her 2008 album Liejacker, it seems a good time for her to take stock and reflect on where she is right now musically.

So it is that Recorded Delivery, the first live record of her career, takes the chance to present her versatility, split as it is into two parts – one acoustic and the other accompanied by her band.

Perhaps unsurprisingly it’s the acoustic section that reveals more of her personality and emotion, often with little more than her guitar for company, though it is notable that she is able to up her vocals a gear for the full band numbers, projecting easily even when the guitars are in full swing.

The two new songs afforded this collection come along early, with the lovely You And Frank Sinatra an emotive tale telling how, “I love to hear those love songs, they go straight to my head”. The more upbeat If You Miss Me At The Back Of The Bus comes across initially like a failed attempt at a sing along, but when you can’t get it out of your head after two listens, you’ll realise it’s a simple yet potent song.

Elsewhere Gilmore, aided by an attentive and appreciative audience from several venues, gives subtly moving performances. The beautiful The Lower Road is especially a case in point, the evocative violin melodies complementing the optimistic chorus of “We will keep rolling on”, before the singer finishes with a beautiful vocalise.

Then when the guitars are turned up, and Gilmore ups her range easily, the bigger numbers, like Juliet and the drinking song When I Get Back To The Shore, are delivered with a more forceful edge. That’s until My Own Private Riot, which opts to take two pretty self indulgent guitar solos, harming the flow of the song.

Yet for Gilmore fans Recorded Delivery will prove a more than useful tour souvenir, offering as it does some alternative versions of songs such as Old Soul and The Lower Road, performed without their guest vocalists. And while Gilmore sometimes sounds a bit stilted in her rapport with the audience, it’s left to the music to do the talking – and that it does, with no problems at all.

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