Eliza Gilkyson,
Paradise Hotel
(Red House, 2005)

Once heard, you will never forget or mistake the voice of Eliza Gilkyson. She has a sweet lyrical delivery ideally suited to the material she writes.

This is exemplified immediately on "Borderline," a beautiful, gentle, country/rock tune that opens this album. The title track follows and is one of my favourite songs this year. Here she demonstrates the power of good lyrics delivered without overarching vocal power.

As if to prove the point, her next track, "Man of God," brings on a wide array of backing talent, but still her voice remains gently persuasive and it works like charm. To enhance her ability further she gives us a song in Spanish (I think), "Bellarosa," and although I could not understand a word of it I was entranced.

If you only hear one track from this CD make it "Requiem." Almost every classical composer has used the title at some time, but Eliza regains it for the "common man" on another beautifully crafted and presented song to warm the heart of all but the stone built. There is an ethereal feel that almost brings the song into the classical vein.

Eliza Gilkyson is a singer and a writer not to watch but to listen to. If enough people experience this young lady's output, she will be a force to be reckoned with.

by Nicky Rossiter
25 November 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.