There is a God!
Maura O'Connell's recorded output has been disappointing, spikes of light overshadowed by too much average material, but, just when expectations are almost spent, along comes the album her warm, stirring voice has always promised.
Though now resident in Nashville, she pays no heed to that city's country production line, preferring a selection of strong contemporary songs, mostly in the country/folk idiom. Producer Ray Kennedy clothes them in simple, fluent arrangements, leaving the way free for O'Connell's wonderfully expressive, almost bluesy voice.
Listen closely and you can hear the Clare lilt. More important, listen closely and you will hear a remarkable singer getting inside the skin of songs as diverse as Van Morrison's Crazy Love and Patty Griffin's I Wonder and Long Ride Home.
©2002 Irish Times