Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Cathy Davey “Tales of Silversleeve” review

Usually, I don’t post album reviews here because they are, after all, published in The Ticket every Friday and that’s just a click away. But last week’s rock/pop reviews didn’t make the jump from the paper to the website so …

Tue, Oct 16, 2007, 14:18

   

Usually, I don’t post album reviews here because they are, after all, published in The Ticket every Friday and that’s just a click away. But last week’s rock/pop reviews didn’t make the jump from the paper to the website so I thought I’d post the Cathy Davey album review here instead.

Having seen her show in Whelan’s last night, I’m even more convinced that we’re in the presence of something very special indeed. Even the old songs sounded good last night – after all, the problems there were to do with the production rather than the songs. Davey has a rocking band with her at the moment (Bell X1′s Paul Noonan is on drums and ex-Immediate dude Conor O’Brien is on guitar) and her own growing stage confidence is also striking. An artist with an album as sussed and sassy as this doesn’t come along all too often. Review in full after the jump (by the way, it’s a long one because it was due to be CD of the Week until Thom Yorke got it into his little head to unleash the Radiohead album in the same week).

CATHY DAVEY
Tales of Silversleeve
EMI
*****

Where the hell did this came from? Is this the same Cathy Davey whose debut album, 2004’s uneven and dull “Something Ilk”, received plenty of accolades, but by no means warranted a ticker-tape parade? Is this the same girl with a guitar who always seemed to fit into niches, but never seemed capable of carving out one of her own? Did I put the right CD in the player?

Yes, yes and, well, yes. “Tales of Silversleeve” is the album of the season which will leave you breathless and not just at the panache and dash employed to merrily pack those preconceptions off to Coventry.

Here’s a bright, bold and breezy rush of imagination, creativity and sheer glorious sounds, an album of sequins, sparkles and swagger. There are 11 songs here which are utterly – utterly – in love with the possibilities which occur in that atomic pop moment when everything is destined to go boom, if you know the right buttons to push.

And Davey has that knowledge. Sure, her accomplice, onetime Sneaker Pimp Liam Howe, helps clear the lines, but there’s no over-priced journeyman producer here trying to turn the Dubliner into his latest puppet on a string. Every note you can hear sounds as it’s coming from the heart – and there are even a few which sound like they’re coming from the soul too.

Just listen to the nagging groove propelling “Moving”, for instance. The pitch is so simple, so obvious, so daftly perfect, that you wonder just why no-one thought of it before. The track is no fluke either because it is preceded by three others and followed by another one which all bear the hallmarks of greatness. That’s five killer songs in a row, including the showstealing “Reuben” and the slinky “Mr Kill” (both of which Robyn and Kylie would happily kill for), before Davey pauses for a cup of tea and a biscuit.

The most charming pop album you’ll hear in Zero Seven. It’s time for that ticker-tape parade.

Download tracks: “Sing For Your Supper”, “Reuben”, “The Collector”, “Moving”, “Mr Kill”

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