Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
When Eddi Reader sings, the only logical thing to do is listen. To take that organ of beauty that sometmes rattles round the head and open up to the sense of music ceremony that is on offer.
There are many female musicians and vocalists that sit with some justification on the realm afforded them by the British public, their voices carry nectar that others, including many men, cannot hope to attain. However as Ms. Reader has proved time and time again and latterly with this year’s album release Vagabond, her voice is just divine. The cool sensual velvet touch that resides in the Scottish singer’s throat, that if captured in a painting would have Constable or Turner blushing with pride with the comparisons handed round, sparkles and plays with memory with seduction.
The memory is no different when the new five song E.P., Back The Dogs comes into the limelight.
The E.P. pours like champagne down the ears of the listener, not least because of the reprise from Vagabond of the E.P. title track Back The Dogs but through the four cover version that frame the ideal of sentiment and beauty. From the natural sounding cover of Super Furry Animals’ Juxtaposed With U, the crashing rollercoaster of emotions that are ready to flip the listener’s world upside down as they remember the tragedy of youth in Love Is A Losing Game, through to the emotional backdrop of Mona Lisa and the finality of choice and the resignation of departure in the classic Moon River, each song has been crafted as though taken by an artist outside of the musical experience and moulded into a something new, all that was lacking in the final product was the breath of live, so ably created by Ms. Reader.
So many artists release an E.P after an album and it feels locked in as an afterthought, a way to add perhaps a few extra cents to the year’s bank balance; this is certainly not the case when it comes to Eddi Reader and Back The Dogs. What it is though is an exercise in restoring a sense of beauty to the growling bleakness that winter provides. this E.P. offers a sense of well being, of an order to the season’s that whilst a roaring fireside and good company are all well and good but nothing beats the sound of a great song and the spring morning warmth on your back.
Back The Dogs is released on November 3rd 2014 via Reveal Records.
Ian D. Hall