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Nerina Pallot - Fires


Review: Jack Foley

NERINA Pallot is a female singer-songwriter who looks to be going from strength to strength.

Her recent download-only single, Everybody's Gone To War, was an absolute humdinger, boasting some fine melodies, supremely emotive lyrics and some fairly impressive collaborations.

Kicking off with the lyric 'I gotta friend who's a pure-bred killing machine, he said he'd waited his whole damn life for this', the track goes on to declare that 'if love is a drug then I guess we're all sober' and 'if God is on our side, then God is a joker'.

Yet the punchy, breezy style of the guitars lends the track an upbeat feel with a vibe not disimilar to the best work of Sheryl Crow, as well as some 70s protest songs.

It also includes some impressive cohorts, such as Jim Keltner (who played drums on Imagine, among other things) and Wendy Melvoin (of Prince and the Revolution notoriety).

The rest of her second album is similarly noteworthy if a little less breezy in places.

Damascus, for example, is a real heartbreaker that displays Pallot's vocals at their most hauntingly serene ('it's over, everything is wrong...').

Once again, it comes backed with some pretty heavyweight talent, from Jon Brion (ex-Jellyfish) on guitar and keyboards, Doyle Bramhall II (Arcangels) on guitar and Susannah Melvoin on backing vocals (she wrote Starfish and Coffee on Prince's Sign of The Times LP, as well as Candy Perfume Girl on Madonna's Ray of Light).

Other notable tracks include the laidback Halfway Home, which finds Pallot in Joni Mitchell mode, delivering some really sweet, husky vocals.

And Mr King, which is almost certain to draw comparisons with the vocal styles of both Norah Jones and Emiliana Torrini.

There are occasional lulls when the album fails to reach the standards set by some of its best efforts, but Fires is a suitably incendiary effort from the London-born artist which, like its PR suggests, could well 'send all kinds of shivers up all kinds of spines'.

 

 

Track listing:
1. Everybodys Gone To War
2. Halfway Home
3. Damascus
4. Idaho
5. All Good People
6. Mr King
7. Geek Love
8. Sophia
9. Learning To Breathe
10. Heart Attack
11. Nickindia

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