Image © Fierce Records 2004
More Cathy Burton:
In Concert At Greenbelt (2005)
Burn Out (2002)
(10 December 2005) Lessons have clearly been learnt from Cathy Burton's debut album Burn Out, and perhaps it was recognised that she was being pitched at slightly the wrong audience. For the magnificent Speed Your Love (Fierce Records (UK) Fiercd05, 2005), the arrangements had been subtly altered towards a more straightforward pop-rock backing, allowing the songs and Cathy's voice more room to do their work. This is immediately apparent on the wonderfully catchy opener "La La Love" with its guitar-led arrangement and dynamic ending.
"Love without a Trace" follows, with a faster tempo but a lighter arrangement, again emphasising the strength of the chorus. The magnificent title track is full of passion and dynamics, a beautiful verse providing plenty of tension, breaking into a glorious chorus, enhanced by an orchestral backing and dramatic choral vocals.
"Home," if anything, is even better. The beautifully still piano and vocal verse leading into an almost shockingly powerful rock chorus, with a stunningly emotional vocal performance from Cathy, which leaves me breathless every time I hear it. The up-tempo "Down the Road" is a lighter piece, but makes good use of male vocals on its excellent chorus, giving it a folky feel.
The lighter tone is maintained by "Falling" another lighter song with a simple message and a charming chorus, while "Right Now" is a lovely ballad with a beautiful, orchestral arrangement. "Someday" is another excellent song, very reminiscent of Natalie Imbruglia, with a fine, guitar-led rock arrangement with plenty of passion, while the delightfully gentle "Leave me with You" with its acoustic picking and backing vocals is reminiscent of Judie Tzuke at her finest, and has a very British feel to it. "Hold You Hand" is a beautiful finish to the album, a delicate, throbbing ballad with an intricate, delightfully paced arrangement.
Having stalled slightly with Burn Out, Cathy and her collaborators have produced a winner in Speed Your Love. By emphasising the dynamics of her voice and song writing, they have produced an album of majesty and depth, which is sure to appeal to fans of Natalie Imbruglia and Judie Tzuke.
Indeed, all those that enjoy the songwriters' art should enjoy both of Cathy's albums a great deal.--Stephen Lambe in Cheltenham, England