Wednesday, 20 March 2013

BECKY MILLS

CD Review

Dandelion

It's always a treat when an album grabs your attention with the opening bars of the first track. Such is the case with Becky Mills' Dandelion and Amy Sharpe. 

Dandelion, Becky Mills' first album
If the rockabilly-style sound doesn't set your toes tapping and your fingers clicking within the blink of an eye then perhaps you shouldn't be listening to this.
The tracks do slow down from this though and you get the richness of Mills' voice, the creamy and deep sounds on I Saw the Sun Today and Pretty Young Things which has more than a touch of Kate Rusby about it, but is distinctive enough not to be confusing.
The soft unblemished tones of her voice are almost contradictory to the content of some of her songs most notably Pretty Young Things with lines such as: "So I found a job dancing that required tits and teeth, I took a room in a bed sitting house, All my friends made their money from walking the streets, 'cos they hadn't a tooth in their mouths"
Mills has the perfect voice for folk, it fits in beautifully with her acoustic guitar skills and yet is distinctive enough not to be lost in the milieu of all the other female voices on the circuit.
For a first album Dandelion exudes maturity in terms of the songwriting and confidence in the singing where tracks such as Leeds Lullaby and  Let It Go show her versatility and her willingness to put a toe into the water of country sounding tunes.
Princess and the Pea is a gorgeous song rich and lyrical and with a great chorus "Please throw a stone at my window, and climb into my room, and I'll pretend that I was sleeping in makeup and perfume."
There are some really evocative tracks on this album such as Family, which will illicit a wide range of emotions from most listeners as Mills' silky tones sink into the psyche.
Singer/songwriter Becky Mills. Picture courtesy of www.beckymills.co.uk
The toe tapping comes back with The North Wind Will with Mills' singing complemented by the banjo picking of Frank Mizen.
Perhaps the most traditional song on the album is Dandelions and Foxgloves which is a gentle ballad where Mills' voice is at its most pure and washes over you like a gentle sea breeze on a warm beach.
With the final track Monkey there is again the contradiction with Mills' light and almost playful voice singing about dark themes of the rocky path of love. There is also a secret bonus track Smelly Joe which is a light song to end on and evokes the sound of the great Joni Mitchell.
Overall this is a really thoughtful and endearing album that deserves its place in any folk collection.
For copies of the album and more information visit www.beckymills.co.uk or www.facebook.com/beckymillsdandelion

To read my interview with Becky visit http://folkall.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/interview.html