Following up her well-regarded 2011 debut Shadow Road Shining, Ciara Sidine's Unbroken Line offers further exploration of the passions and emotions that drive her.
If she rails stridently, but firmly against the scandals of her native Ireland’s mother and baby homes in the pointed ‘Finest Flower’, and changes more than just the gender as she takes on the traditional ‘Woman Of Constant Sorrow’, she brings sharp rockabilly sensibilities to a driving ‘Wooden Bridge’, and imbues ‘River Road’ and ‘Take Me With You’ with a natural, atmospheric country soulfulness.
The anxious menace of ‘Trouble Come Find Me’ gives it an almost Delta feel, all the better for its stark instrumental bed. The verse:
“So sister, reach a hand out to me
These hands were made to hold
Let trouble come, better to show us
How to take back the things we own”
might be the manifesto message of empowerment for the whole of Unbroken Line, although the relationship songs ‘Unbroken Line’, and ‘Let The Rain Fall’ score highly too, with ‘Lemme Drive Your Train’ feeling close to an uncomfortable listener intrusion to undisguised sensuality.
‘Watching The Dark’ though, may be the trump card, a late-night jazz waltz, heavy with longing and regret and in which Ciara demonstrates her considerable vocal range, in respect of both scale and emotion. This too is a high point for her band members in terms of the consistency of empathetic accompaniment they display throughout a thought-provoking and beautifully-emotional album.
Date added: Aug 27, 2017
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