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Of Note  

March 2002


Walls & Windows On Sale March 2002

Maura O'Connell's new CD - walls & windows will be on sale in Ireland from 4th March 2002.

Captivating stylist ...introspective chanteuse...musical explorer ...songwriter's singer.

"... one of the best vocal albums of 2001...... O'Connell's performance is galvanizing. O'Connell can take a song, empty herself into it, and end up owning it. Her cover of the Rose-Kennedy-Sharp tune "Walls" is such a moment, as is her stirring version of Clapton's "I Get Lost" and her desolate take on Prine's "Sleepy Eyed Boy." Billboard December 22, 2001.

Whatever label one attaches to Grammy nominated Maura O'Connell, there are precious few singers with the natural ability to delve so deeply into a vast array of musical material. Inhabiting each note - and every space between each note - with such conviction that both performer and listener are left unquestionably moved and unexpectedly exposed.

With Walls and Windows, Maura O'Connell continues to build on the strong foundation that is her spectacular voice, and reinforces that foundation with delicate glimpses both inward and outward, thus earning her latest album its apropos title. She's also satisfied eager fans awaiting a new release since 1997's much-heralded Wandering Home, the luminescent valentine to her birthplace. Most significantly, once again, Maura O'Connell has assembled a collection of songs to which she feels deep personal connection.

"I work very much on how I feel about things, and different gut-level emotions," O'Connell says of her organic approach. "I listen to songs, not looking to create a tableau. I eventually find that that the tableau has been created somewhat, but I'm not aware of it at the time. I really just get together with a bunch of songs that I really like, because I think that's a category all by itself - really good songs."

As with each of her previous recordings, the musical landscape of Walls and Windows is varied and sources of Maura's inspiration are numerous. Chief among the many highlights are a heartbreaking take on Eric Clapton's "I get Lost," a driving version of Ron Sexsmith's "Don't Ask Why," and a joyous reading of Van Morrison's "Crazy Love."

Although each tune has another artist's name attached, the true marvel among the dozen tracks on Walls and Windows is the effortlessness with which Maura moulds them to her own pieces of art, discovering untold beauty and nuance along the way. Perhaps most significant are the multiple contributions of songwriters Patty Griffin ("Poor Man's House"), whose distinctive gifts are enhanced by O'Connell's obvious regards for them. "If you're a singer and you're looking for songs, she says, "it's always going to be about the truth of the words and the beauty of the music."

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