Eileen Laverty,
Dancing with Angels
(self-produced, 1999)

Eileen raised a few eyebrows when she released this excellent debut album onto the market. This Canadian singer-songwriter, by way of Belfast, North Ireland, is loaded with an abundance of talent, and thankfully she is sharing! Dancing with Angels won a Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Roots Recording in 2000, and after listening to it, I'd say deservedly so! Eileen wrote eight of the ten tracks present on this disc, and did covers of Steve Earle's "My Old Friend the Blues" and Dougie MacLean's "Caledonia" to fill it out a little more.

Eileen's lyrics show a great understanding of the world around her, and an insight into relationships. None of the original tracks are frivolous; they all have meaning and depth, and show Eileen's musical abilities to be upstanding and very enjoyable. This is a very promising first release, and I am looking forward to what this songbird has to offer.

"Tread Softly" is the opening track, and the bodhran blends well with the rather celestial-sounding synth work. Eileen's voice is quite soothing, and if sounds were images, her voice would be rather like a pastel shading in nature. The lyrics are quite powerful, "If I had the cloths of Heaven / I would lay them at your feet / But all I have to offer are my dreams / Tread softly / I gave my heart, I gave my soul / Tread softly / I gave my heart, I gave my soul...."

It seems that Eileen is a great believer in "dreams come true" and that she holds a lot of hope within her for good. "Homeland" is a gentle, flowing piece that seems to encompass the important things -- love, home, hope and life itself. This particular track fast became a favourite in this household. The Celtic melody and Eileen's meaningful lyrics are a dynamic that can't fail. "I would love to take you by the hand / And roam the country roads of our homeland / Just you and I alone in fairer weather / Until that day, in dreams we'll go together...."

Following the same thread throughout the disc, we find another track which deals with dreams, and faith. "Wildest Dreams" is another temperate track, and has a valuable lesson about life to share with those willing to listen. Support is something we should always give, be it to friends, family or lovers. It is something that humanity as a whole always needs.

[ by Naomi de Bruyn ]
Rambles: 27 July 2002

Buy it from Amazon.com.