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Emma Stevens Emma Stevens
Album: To My Roots
Label: Soft Rock
Tracks: 13
Website: http://emmastevensmusic.com/

I should perhaps start this review with a confession. I have a real soft spot for this young lady and her music. I met her back in 2012 as she started her rise to musical fame. Speaking to her I soon discovered that she is not only an extremely talented singer/songwriter and musician but also, and perhaps most importantly of all, an absolutely delightful and charming person.

Her musical influences in her youth, she is not that old now though, were James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, The Corrs, Dixie Chicks and many others especially those from a country background, a musical style which she loves. Emma has written much of her music in Nashville and the sound of that great musical city can be heard throughout this album.

Emma's music can, to my mind at least, be best described as soft, light and catchy pop with a heavy country influence and this, her third full album, continues in that vein.

The first time that I heard Emma sing, she gave me a glow of happiness and her music has continued to do that. She sounds happy to be singing and performing and that is reflected in the songs she writes. That is not to say that all of her songs are light and whimsical, they are not, but even the slower and deeper numbers have a resonance of her love of life about them.

Listening to the lyrics, you will soon understand that Emma writes from the heart. A lady that has loved, lost and been hurt but is still in love with life and people! "Sing Out" is a song that amplifies her optimistic view on life.

Emma lives in a wood in Surrey and claims to gain inspiration from the surrounding areas and the woodland. Although not on this album, one of her earlier songs was "Dreaming Trees" which you can listen to on YouTube if you are not sure what sort of artist Emma is.

I do not have a stand out favourite track on this album, liking nearly all of them in equal measures." Slow" is exactly that, a slow, soft and subtle love song. "Shoot The Breeze With Me" ramps the pace up a bit but never too much to make you leap out of your comfy armchair if that is your favoured listening perch.

Over the last few years, Emma's fame and reputation has spread. She has supported Simply Red, Passenger and Train whilst also being featured on numerous TV programmes as well as Radio 2. All of this activity is in addition to performing in her own shows and at various festivals. A very busy lady! Terry Wogan once descried her as magical and she remains magical to this day. She was also invited recently to join the UK's Eurovision judging panel. An accolade of some sort I suppose!

Emma writes most of her own material but one song on this album that she did not write is "Walking On Sunshine" a song that virtually everyone on this planet of ours will be familiar with. However, most will not have heard a version of the song quite like Emma's version. A real delight!

So, my imaginary love affair with Emma and her music continues unabated. She tours extensively so do try to get to one of her shows. Like me, you will quite probably fall in love with her.

Rory Stanbridge