Fallen Angel - Review

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After a long absence from the studio, Sarah-Jane is about to release the long awaited follow-up to 1995's live offering, Blue Valentine from Ronnie Scott's Jazz House Label (JHCD 038). This is her fourth solo album and brings together many strands from an eclectic career already spanning a twenty year period.

Sarah Jane Morris: Fallen Angel CD ReviewFallen Angel is produced by Morris with Rod Beale, whose engineering credentials include Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'Dour, Shara Nelson (Massive Attack). It features an astonishingly diverse array of talents. Morris's own band are joined by the likes of Tom Waits/John Zorn guitarist extraordinnaire, Marc Ribot; Eno and Van Morrison stalwart, Kate St. John; ex-Pogues/Test Dept. collaborator, David Coulter.

This disc shows Morris to be vocally as innovative as ever. 'IRMA (Bologna-based independent label) had the conviction and imagination to allow me the freedom to create the album I wanted to make. They just left me alone. The result speaks for itself. I feel it is very representative of my true direction. I take risks with my voice. All the vocals are done in one take. I call this my Joplin/Captain Beefheart/Isley Brothers hybrid! I have used as bizarre an assortment of instrumentation as was possible. Theramins, ukuleles, cor anglais, mandolins – all non-conventional for this style of music. How do I describe it? I don't! It speaks for itself. You listen and you decide. Hopefully there's something for everyone.

To the listener, the album is a musical excursion into unexpected territories. Lyrically, Morris explores her own emotions, passions, loss, despair, madness, sanity. Sometimes alarmingly frank and honest, Morris has given us an album of brutal beauty. Fallen Angel is destined to be a classic.

To Bronski Beat/Communards Central
To Thorne's commentary on the Communards' production
Download a free 'Cry' and other tracks

Sarah Jane Morris external:
The official Sarah Jane Morris website