- 25 Mar 15
Impressively eclectic offering from Irish chanteuse
An accomplished actor, comedian and former member of The Nualas, Dubliner Karen Egan is well-known for her beautiful live renditions of cabaret gems and classics from the French chanson tradition, which she peppers with self-deprecating humour. However, Egan is also a gifted songwriter in her own right, with a melodic flair matched by a highly literary lyrical sensibility.
Coming after her critically-acclaimed first album, 2006’s Very Very, Egan’s new album – cleverly-titled Charlatanne – was recorded during flying visits to Dublin, on breaks from work in Finland and Paris. Showcasing eleven consistently superb songs which get better with every listen, Charlatanne puts this diva-esque singer-songwriter very firmly on the map of major Irish talent – albeit it with an unusually international, polyglot flavour.
Egan explores an array of genres, with the skill of a singer who has absorbed the best influences from many musical traditions. Backed by superb instrumentalists and supporting vocalists, Egan carries us from the Spanish-style ‘For A Minute’ and the sultry jazz of the title track, onto several love songs and even rip-roaring bluegrass on ‘The L-Word’. While heartbreak is a major theme, the melancholia is counterpointed by an appreciation of infinity, nature and love, on the highly poetic ‘Drowning’, ‘The Moon Is Falling Down’ and ‘I Am Love’. And of course the sadness is leavened by Egan’s ‘cheeky’ (she’s quite ready to flaunt one of the best asses you’ll see on stage) and risque humour.
Charlatanne is an album that will be enjoyed by listeners for years to come.
Key Track - 'I Am Love'