Camille O'Sullivan - Changeling
Camille O'Sullivan is far from cowed in tackling a host of revered composers; not for her the fear of the song being 'too big'. The Irish singer, dancer and actress (whose profile in her native Ireland is loftier than on these shores) picks well and makes sound choices. It's just a shame that it doesn't convince throughout and that the tracks that do work are those whose arrangements most closely parallel the originals.
With the production clean and sparse, the likes of Gillian Welch's 'Revelator' and a brace by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds ('The Ship Song' and 'Brompton Oratory') benefit from the space to breathe afforded by their writers, and O'Sullivan shows respect as well as passion. Johhny Cash's 'Hurt' is as stark and tremulous as it ever was. It's when she slips higher difficulty elements into her routine that you spot the odd stumble. Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up', with its proto-grunge riffery and massed chanting, doesn't have enough melodic or lyrical punch to sustain a piano/vocal reworking. The torch song re-styling of Radiohead's 'True Love Waits' and David Bowie's 'Lady Grinning Soul' cry out for choices just a tad more dynamic. Picky? Maybe. The voice, deep and elegant with an unexpected burr, is exceptional and a friend suggests you only get the full O'Sullivan effect live, which seems reasonable. One for the notebook, definitely.