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Heidi Berry | Pomegranate - An Anthology (4AD)
Signed by both Creation and 4AD at the heights of their respective powers in the late 80's/early 90's, Heidi Berry's career sank without much trace after her last album for 4AD, 1996's Miracle. Born and bred in Boston, Mass., she moved to England in her teens and, with a little help from her then-boyfriend Peter Astor (Weather Prophets/Wisdom of Harry) she signed up with Creation and released an EP, Firefly, in 1987 and a full length album, Below the Waves, in 1989. Both received much acclaim but precious little in the way of sales. 4AD's Ivo Watts-Russell saw her in concert one night and thought he'd seen the new Dusty Springfield. He immediately arranged for and offered her a way out of the Creation deal, and she subsequently made 3 albums on 4AD: Love (1991), Heidi Berry (1993) and Miracle (1996). All cruelly overlooked by the general public of course, no doubt too busy tuning into the Sarah Maclachlan's of this cruel world. Heidi Berry has often been compared to Sandy Denny and Nick Drake (again!), understandably so when one listen to this worthy Anthology recently released on 4AD. With her sublime, intimate voice to the fore, one tends to forget the sometimes subduded country-folk-rock fare of her studio sound. There are many great moments though: Northern Country from Miracle is a fitting opener, perhaps highlighting the way her sound was evolving at the end of her first tenure with 4AD. Needle's Eye, which she managed to get out on a single on Bad Parent Records in 1998, proves this point. With recent sightings on the stages of London's clubs in recent months, let's hope such activity and the release of this worthy compilation lure Heidi Berry into the studio once more.

Torbjorn Wickman
June-July 2001

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