Ann Scott - Venus To The Sky (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
ANN Scott’s third album shows that the Dublin artist is maturing nicely.
Woven together sonically and lyrically by themes of love, this is a diverse and consistently entertaining collection of songs that combine full-bodied radio friendly moments with some that are slightly more thought-provoking.
It’s at its best when embracing a gutsy full band sound, with album opener Hoola serving up an instant highlight and an excellent entry point. The guitars are almost U2-esque, the vocals nicely haunted and vaguely ethereal in a Bat For Lashes kind of way, and the melodies tight and empowering.
There’s a gritty rock sound on You To Me, which also embraces a PJ Harvey kind of feel to stirring effect, while Unite initially strips things down to an acoustic giutar and an earthy set of vocals, before layering in the drums and tambourines and hitting you with another tight set of melodies and a brooding, wistful vocal.
It’s an excellent starter trio and evidence that Scott is flourishing creatively, delivering songs that have a bittersweet outlook about life and love, as well as a melancholy undertow.
Stripes maintains the high standards, combining a take notice electronic sound with some great string arrangements and an almost fragile vocal (as if to underline the vulnerability at stake emotionally), while Joy has an indie-rock vibe that almost has a Cranberries-meets-Harvey vibe.
So far, so immediately accessible too. But in slowing down the tempo on tracks like Coming Up (“some think it over, some wait for a sign”) and Stars Scott makes you stop to think even harder about what she has to say, thereby delivering tracks that require a more thoughtful approach from the listener and something less accessible (but no less striking).
And she even juxtaposes sentiments, too, with Solemn conjuring some playful melodies in spite of its sad lyricism.
Venus To The Sky shows Scott to be at the peak of her form and it’s a really great listen.
Download picks: Hoola, You To Me, Unite, Stripes, Solemn, Joy