# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Eileen Rose - At Our Tables

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 27 / 9 / 2008

Eileen Rose - At Our Tables
Label: Evangeline
Format: CD


Superb fourth album from much-acclaimed Boston-based singer-songwriter Eileen Rose, which both pushes her into first position in the overcrowded female singer/songwriter market and also proves to be her finest album to date

I missed out on Eileen Rose’s debut ‘Shine Like It Does’ so it wasn’t until 2002’s ‘Long Shot Novena’ that I heard her for the first time. It was a good, solid album, so much so that it made me shell out for her follow-up in 2005, ‘Come The Storm’. Again that was a solid collection of songs but it’s telling that in the few weeks that I’ve had ‘At Our Tables’ it’s already been played more than both those earlier albums have over the last few years. In fact I think I’m in love (again). If this had been my introduction to the music of Eileen Rose then I’d be hailing her as the best female singer to come out of America in the last decade. The fact that I’d heard those other good but so-so albums before stops me short of making such claims, but if Eileen continues making music of this calibre then it won’t be long before she, not only starts shifting shed loads of albums, but starts gaining more praise along those lines. Bob Harris has been in her corner since the beginning and with each album Eileen has been adding more and more admirers to her fan-base, but surely no one could have predicted that on her fourth album she would turn out such a strong set of songs. It makes me smile a little, check out her web site or reviews and you will see that Eileen has been compared to almost every female singer from Ani Di Franco to Stevie Nicks taking in Chrisse Hynde, Lucinda Williams and Sheryl Crow along the way. But listen to the vocal on track five, ‘I’m The Only One’, and tell me who she really sounds like. She sounds like Eileen Rose and she sings on this very song “I’m the only one who’s ever been like me.” While I appreciate she didn’t write the song with her vocals in mind the words are very fitting particularly as Eileen makes one of her best vocals of all time on this song. From the opening line of “Shut your mouth and hold me, why don’t you?” she holds your attention and for the next four and a half minutes your world, your very existence belongs to this Boston girl. She has a voice that is both seductive, innocent and knowing and which could wipe the floor with most of the above female singers (Lucinda being the exception). You want more proof? Try ‘Bird Of Youth’, a smouldering vocal performance that is enhanced by superb backing from her band. Eileen has left the alt-country leanings of her previous albums behind with this album and while, especially on this song, those country touches are not far from the surface they are now mixed with pinches of pop and soul which make a much more interesting and satisfying collection of songs than we are used to from Miss Rose. But it’s not only those vocals, Eileen, on this album, proves time and again that when it comes to writing unforgettable melodies then there are few singer / songwriters that come close to her today. Take a listen to ‘Jeannie Steps Out’ and try to get that melody out of your head. It will stay with you all day and so it should. It’s simply sublime. Add to that those vocals and you’re transported away from the humdrum of your daily routine to that place where you want to be. As if giving us eleven original songs which rank among the best we have heard from any artist this year wasn’t enough Eileen also adds a seven track CD of live versions of songs on ‘At Our Tables’ to the package. Recorded with her band the Holy Wreck in June 2008 it shows that Eileen and the band can cut it live as well as in the studio. This is a career high for Eileen Rose and can’t be recommended highly enough. In an already overcrowded market here is a woman who is currently holding first position in the female singer / songwriter genre. This is an absolutely stunning album and one which stands head and shoulders above the competition. And I didn’t even mention that this double CD comes in a cover that must rank as one of the year’s best…

Track Listing:-
1 $20 Shoes
2 Old Time Reckoning
3 Doesn't Mean A Thing
4 Failure To Thrive
5 I'm The Only One
6 Bird Of Youth
7 Jeannie Steps Out
8 Seven Winds
9 Blue Mood Words
10 Will-O'-The-Wisp
11 The Day Before

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