‘You Don’t Know’ by Hilary James - an eclectic blend overflowing with ‘listenability’(December 28, 2015)
Listening to Hilary James sing is like applying a balm for your ears, that crystal clear, supremely listenable, and lusciously mellow voice washes over you and immediately you feel better. She has taken that voice down a few roads spanning a mix of genres, moving comfortably through their varying embraces. Journeying across folk music with albums like ‘Burning Sun’ and ‘English Sketches’, moving into a blues vein with ‘Bluesy’, her latest album, ‘You Don’t Know’ once again moves towards her ‘bluesier’ side with essences of folk, ragtime, bluegrass and elements of jazz. The result is an eclectic blend overflowing with ‘listenability’.
Songs like the delicious ‘Last Show Tonight’ and ‘Need Your Love So Bad’ and that familiar icon of love and revenge, the tragic ‘Frankie & Johnnie’ provide the perfect platform for Hilary’s vocal skills, as does the gentle warmth of ‘Skylark’ and the melancholy tenderness of ‘The House Is Haunted By The Echo Of Your Last Goodbye’. Add a selection of outstanding musicians and ‘You Don’t Know’ holds you from start to finish with its 13 wonderful songs. In case you’re wondering, the standout track is ‘Rock Salt And Nails’.
Review: Tom Franks