Experimental Music Love

October 12, 2008

Nell Bryden – Second Time Around

Filed under: Album Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 5:28 pm
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Nell Bryden – Second Time Around


Sometimes it takes fate for someone’s dream to come true, and Nell Bryden’s story has more serendipitous schmaltz than any Will Smith vehicle (even the ones that also star his son). Working as a waitress, Bryden dreamed of hitting the big time with her singing career, touring America with the little money she had.  Nothing came of it however, and amidst selling all her worldly possessions to fund one last tour, Bryden stumbled across an original painting by Milton Avery which sold for just under $300,000.  And it’s this money that has allowed Second Time Around to appear, but is it as interesting as the story behind it? 

It does certainly have its plaudits, but it’s the same people offering this praising who find something worthwhile in Norah Jones and Katie Melua.  Her sound has an altogether more memorable blend of blues, jazz and though soul, and don’t worry, there’s no Joss Stone border crossed here, with things kept classy, especially on sultry opener Tonight. 

This smoky jazz club mood is sustained through much of what Bryden offers, though things do veer towards sentimental country on Only Life I Know and even brechtian swing on Where the Pavement Ends.  It’s certainly a mix of styles that puts the aforementioned Jones and Melua to shame.  The ballads may not work quite so well as its more swinging moments, but be thankful that such great art as Avery’s has allowed even more enjoyable creativity to make itself known.




Release Date: 27 Oct


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