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Album: June Tabor, Ashore (Topic)

The most august voice in British folk addressing a range of songs associated with the sea, to the familiarly minimalist accompaniment of piano, accordion, viola, double bass.

So far, so tasteful, so carefully resonant – Tabor's grainy contralto is as impactful an instrument as exists. But there is in these performances a slightly mannered theatricalism which you will need to reconcile with any desire you may harbour for either simple affect or no affect at all. Serious stuff though.