Eileen Laverty,
Ground Beneath My Feet
(BRC, 2006)

Ground Beneath My Feet is the second album to be released by the talented, Canada-based singer-songwriter, Eileen Laverty. The album has an organic feel throughout with great potential to reach out to a wider audience. Radio-friendly arrangements are peppered with the sounds of mandolin, accordion and dobro, with Eileen's beautiful, expressive vocals providing the linchpin of the recording.

On a number of occasions, Eileen gives the impression that she is somewhat uneasy with the world of today. "Crazy World" finds Eileen cleverly considering the paradox of a world where over indulgence exists alongside poverty: "Halfway round the world there's a lady whose life is to get to the end of the day." A similar theme is revisited in "State of Mind," in which Eileen makes a wry observation about our reliance on television to provide our view of the world: "It's a small world, looking through a 20-inch frame."

Perhaps Eileen's most notable achievement on the album is the song "Let It Go." The lyrics of the song were inspired by notes from a journal kept by Eileen's cousin, Stephen Long, who at the time was dying of cancer. Many songwriters may have resorted to an over-sentimental, mournful approach to this sort of song, but Eileen should be much applauded for the crafting of this gem, providing both a tongue-in-cheek view of how Stephen saw those around him while faced with this suffering and, simultaneously, a joyous celebration of life. A vibrant rhythm coupled with the repeated chorus -- "Let it go, gotta live like there's no tomorrow, let it go" -- brings a glimmer of hope, acceptance and understanding to an otherwise utterly hopeless situation.

On the sublime "The Road," Eileen alludes very much to her Irish roots, with the tune often reminding of a traditional Irish air, complete with a lilting low whistle. The song offers a fitting showcase for the warmth and intimacy of Eileen's vocal performance where one can repeatedly feel as if she is singing for you alone. Eileen dedicates this song "to all who walk the road with us," and I imagine that there will be a great many more people walking the road with Eileen after listening to this remarkable album.

by Mike Wilson
24 June 2006

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