Eilen Jewell “Letters from Sinners and Strangers” (Signature Sounds 2007)
Like a diamond in the dirt
‘Letters from sinners and strangers’ is Eilen (apparently it rhymes with feelin’) Jewell’s 2nd album, and it’s a corker from start to finish. Like Jolie Holland, she draws on a slightly modernised old-time groove, but this is rounded out with a warm ache of a voice. There’s a few covers, including a version of Charlie Rich’s ‘Thanks a lot’ which reveals hidden depths, but her own songs are more than good enough: rarely is heartbreak done so unexpectedly poetically as on the smartly swinging shuffle of ‘heartache boulevard’, whilst the spirits flow figuratively and literally on ‘high shelf booze’ and ‘too hot to sleep’. Lovely.
Date review added: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Reviewer: Lynne Pettinger
Related web link: artist's website