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Kate  Rusby Kate Rusby
Album: Life In A Paper Boat
Label: Pure
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.katerusby.com

This is another accomplished album from the Barnsley Nightingale. As with her other studio albums it is immaculately (over)produced by husband Damien O’Kane but I approached it with some reluctance, as I have been disappointed by her albums in the past. Not by her singing, not by the songs but by the lack of personality in them. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. This is, I think, her 15th album and it feels much fresher than the last ones. I have been listening to all the recent ones and comparing and yes, it is an improvement, it feels less like someone going through the motions and more like a singer enjoying her craft.

Her voice is the same plaintive cry that can tug at your heart or set your teeth on edge but it is used to excellent effect on the contemporary “I’ll be wise”. There is the usual mix of new treatments of traditional songs and new compositions but somehow the choices appeal more. “Life in a paper boat” is a lovely song and the choice of Archie Fisher’s “Witch of the Westmoreland” was inspired. It is an excellent rendition of a song which, although it seems to have aged well, seems to be neglected these days.

The album closes with a bonus track which is funny, jolly and a surreptitious for Yorkshire Tea. Of course ‘Yorkshire Tea could be a generic term but on the other hand, it could be snapped up by the advertisersAll in all, a good album that bears more than a few plays.

Liz Franklin