Album: Eva Cassidy
Friday 16 August 2002
The unstaged sleeve photo – more holiday snap than posed cover shot – illustrates one of the problems of posthumous success: it's too late to effect any kind of stylish makeover, and one has to draw instead upon a hoard of personal photos probably not intended for publication. That it seems to fit Eva Cassidy speaks volumes for the honest, unalloyed nature of her performances here, which, like the earlier collections Time After Time and her 1998 breakthrough Songbird, are drawn from disparate sources reflecting her abilities in folk, blues and jazz – a diversity that stopped her securing a major-label contract in her lifetime, but has clearly proven acceptable to a public unconcerned with industry niches. Cushioned in small-combo arrangements, the jazzier material, such as "Fever" and "You've Changed", is tackled with an easy, expressive facility that directs the former, for instance, closer to Little Willie John's original than Peggy Lee. But it's the folksier performances, such as Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?", and her soulful solo treatment of standards such as "Imagine" and "It Doesn't Matter Any More" that reveal Cassidy's natural warmth: her gentle blues inflections on the latter bestow a pained resignation, while her impassioned simplicity even de-saccharinises "Tennessee Waltz". The only wrong note is Stevie Wonder's "It Can Only Be Me", whose soul-diva stylings are like Kryptonite to Cassidy's essential sincerity.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture