Former beautiful south singer emerges as a songwritter contender.
The charm and quality of Irish singer Briana Corrigan was revealed during the first phase of The Beautiful South’s string of sublime and quirky pop hits. However, on this solo album, she emerges also as a songwriter of wit, elegance and style. Gathering about her a band of Dublin-based musicians of the vintage of Frank Kearns, Garvan Gallagher, Dave Couse (with whom she co-wrote a couple of tracks) and Wayne Sheehy, Corrigan sets down a marker as a solo artist of serious intent.
Couse’s ‘13 Wonderful Love Songs’ we already know as the record’s upbeat single. Her own ‘Stay’ is equally brimming with emotion while set against an evocative, swirling musical backdrop. ‘Rain’, another Corrigan comp, is more uptempo with a sturdier backbeat. ‘Little Darling’, written with Couse, is shot through with Colm McClean’s flashing slide guitar and a starkness that gives Corrigan’s expressive voice ample space in which to shine. She wrote ‘Angle’s Cradle’ with the late Mervyn Sweet and as a duet it cries out for a full-on country treatment. Meanwhile, she takes Marc Cohn’s ‘The Things We’ve Handed Down’ and gives it a more plaintive treatment. While a couple of tracks risk descending into tweeness with the use of kiddy voices, it’s a minor carp when set against the quality and exuberance of the album as a whole.