Album: Laura Wright, The Last Rose (Decca)

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The Independent Culture

Folk music is currently hotter than it's been for 40 years, but I doubt whether Mumford and Marling fans will find much to enjoy in these neatly-manicured versions of traditional songs, sung in pristine conservatoire tones and swaddled in the kind of chamber arrangements that deny their rough origins.

Laura Wright's delivery of songs like "Scarborough Fair" and "I Know Where I'm Going" effectively erases all emotion from them, and while the prissiness works to the advantage of English-Rose material such as "The Last Rose of Summer" and "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal", one's ultimately left reflecting that there's really no need to treat these enduring and durable songs with such porcelain delicacy.

DOWNLOAD THIS: The Last Rose of Summer