This is in some ways a fantastic disc—this woman can sing—and yet one of the most puzzling CDs to be received in a long time, because it is so uneven. It starts with some great soul blues that has a country tinge. The voice coming from the speakers for the first few songs is strong, assured and has that elusive ability to sell the song as sincere; then it drifts (honestly can't find a more apt word) to this very light bubbly Jimmy Buffetish Caribbean bouncy beat song, Bougainvillea Sunset, that still has the good voice but the sincerity is no longer there. This goes for the music as well. The first four songs sit up and make you say, "man this is great, and from someone I've never heard of!" and after that it seems the songs are hit and miss in not only their musical quality but also in the songwriting. There are 13 songs and Atherton wrote ten of them, co-wrote two, and one is a cover, Ode To Nowhere. There are times the songwriting is good and times when it borders on the brink of trite; most of the time this latter occurs when she gets away from the blues or country material that has a bit of an edge. She has a tendency to write songs that bring to mind little slivers of popular romance novels that have been read. There is an idealized sweetness that brings me to the edge of sickness.
Rich Brotherton did the producing on this disc, and on some cuts you can hear his influence, but on others it is far from his work with Robert Earl Keen or Rita Hoskings' new discs. When Atherton rocks she really does, but when she goes to songs of unrequited or romantic love…
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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