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WALLIS BIRD New Boots (2009)

Wallis Bird

New Boots opens by kneeing you in the groin. Can Opener is rythmic and aggressive with a passing nod to funk. It reminds of Alanis Morrissette when she was an angry young woman. Of Beth Hart and Janis Joplin. One word sums it up neatly - 'attitude'.

And when you're shielding your privates from that second steel toe capped kick, Travelling Bird - while still with a rythmic beat, caresses you and throws some showtime( ?) into the mix.

It's like having your head messed with. And that's just what Little Boots - the tricky second album from Irish singer songwriter Wallis Bird - does.

There's no common thread. Meal Of Convenience sounds like a folk demo recorded in someone's kitchen. Made Of Sugar lays the soul bare - a lovely acoustic piece, while An Idea About Mary is a nice pop/folk number. LaLaLand has a Pink/reggae feel, while Berlin throws in some barbershop?

But there is one constant - the exceptional voice of Wallis Bird. Yes, she may fuse traditional, folk, blues, folk, pop and more in a whirlwind style that leaves you reeling. And like an untamed element of nature her voice has a wonderful raw quality that drips passion.

Some say her vocals can cause involuntary bowels movements. We say the sheer range of styles on one album may mitigate against commercial success. But a vocal talent to be reckoned with, for sure.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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