Navigator Records (label)
18 February 2013 (released)
10 February 2013
When unique guitarists and songwriters like Mark Knopfler and Jerry Douglas offer to play on your new album, you’d be confident that you’re sitting on something potentially very special.
Originally from County Kildare, Ireland, Heidi Talbot has released a number of albums as well as being a member of the Irish-American group Cherish the Ladies. Angels Without wings is her new album, featuring eleven new songs, and lots of friends.
The title track opens the album with some style, with a distinct Gallic flavour, thanks to Phil Cunningham’s judicious use of the accordion. Wine and Roses follows, its sparse instrumentation letting Ms Talbot’s exquisite voice come the fore. Dearest Johnny is darker hued, traditional fare in the Fairport/Richard Thompson mode.
Will I ever Get to Sleep is a sprightly ditty that segues into When the Roses Come Again a gentle country flecked song featuring Knopfler and the voice of Tim O’Brien.
The album closes with My Sister the Moon and Arcadia, the former an acoustic vaguely recalling some the darker acoustic parts of The Wall, the latter while not quite taking the listener into the aforementioned depths is hardly a barrel of laughs: Not an uplifting close to the album; a thoughtful one.
The album is a success on all levels: composition, production, sequencing and performance. The production by John McCusker is glossy though naturally sympathetic to Talbot’s voice, and doesn’t over-sugar the songs that at times relate some pretty gritty tales. There are a lot of guests on the album but they don’t clutter, and it’s a testament to the quality of the song writing that it's not overwhelmed by the attendant stardust.