Comes with a Smile # reviews
issues | the songs | interviews | reviews | images | web exclusives | top 10 | history | search

cwas#13 / cwas#12 / cwas#11 / cwas#9 / cwas#8 / cwas#7
cwas#6 / cwas#4 / all reviews / search

Polly Phillips | No Relation (Koala Music)
I'll not trouble you with my 'judging a book by the cover' routine again but, really, is this cover supposed to entice us into buying this CD? Luckily the music grabs you from the off. A Sharp Breath ripples in with tasteful tablas and other percussion, and then the beats gradually beef up and drag you in, and we even get a short, wild, wide screen instrumental break of Arab-Irish strangeness. Dance with the Devil swiftly follows with strumming, chiming guitars, and the trademark up-front sound. The voice can be described as girlish, I suppose, but strong nonetheless ?? a bit like Claire Grogan grown up, and not working as a TV link person. The instrumentation is mostly simple acoustic guitars, drums and percussion, with the odd bit of synth and bass, but it's a rich and satisfying sound. Stops are really pulled out, though, on Nothing Counts, with some cute pipey and churchy synth sounds, another Arab-tinged instrumental break, and impressively all-out vocals. The Wee Girl then brings it down, as it must, sweetly and softly and with the likeably strange lines "There's nothing she wouldn't do / To catch your lime or your light". The lyrics are so good, too, even I noticed them, and they even feature irony - not something you hear every day. And neither is a disc this good.

Jeff Cotton
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002