Take A Look is the second album to be released by Caroline Gilmour
, an Edinburgh based singer songwriter. Take A Look
continues in a similar vein to her first album, Someday
, in that it’s full of strong emotive songs that rely more on the passion and lyricism than the actual music itself, with the music often being minimal, and to great effect. ‘Free’
is a good example of this, consisting of a simple piano refrain and light drums, allowing Caroline’s voice to take centre stage. She could be considered at times a Scottish Alannis Morissette, and indeed seems to take much inspiration from the Canadian, especially her more ‘country’ sounding efforts, with many of the songs on Take A Look
having a tinge of ‘country’ and rock about them.
The main strength of Take A Look is Caroline’s voice. It’s a powerful voice that can soar yet can also drag you down, such is the range, both physically and emotionally. ‘Deny’ sees her voice reach those heights, with the song itself being a more upbeat rock effort, and this works well for one of the more cheerful songs on the album. That’s not to say that the songs on Take A Look are mournful, as despite the lyrics often being of love lost, the tone throughout is mostly one of optimism and resilience. ‘Survive’ is a prime example of this. Consider these lyrics;
“I can’t believe, can’t think I can’t breathe
As reality walks right up to me
We’re losing our faith, our hopes and all our dreams
We’re just trying to find a little sanity”
On the surface they seem rather sad, yet although this song is perhaps the most down in tone on the entire album, it still hints strongly at hope for the future. Emotion is music is all well and good, but to let it cloud an entire album and suffocate the listener in sadness is a line for all musicians to walk, and Caroline Gilmour manages to successfully navigate this by injected all her songs with optimism and a strong sense of hope. ‘Don’t Run Away’ is another great example of this, with Caroline somehow managing to make the title lyric seem both melancholic yet uplifting, a stange emotional juxtaposition and one that threads a seam throughout the album.
If it seems like the above is making out that the album is a sombre affair, then I’m giving the wrong impression. Indeed there are some great moments of brightness, such as the buoying ‘Take A Look’ and the fantastic ‘Devils & Angels’.
Basically put, if you like singer songwriters with a strong voice and some country and rock stylings, all overlaid with a strong sense of emotion, you will love this album. That is of course massively simplifying things, and there is lot more here to Take A Look at. See what I did there?
Give this a try. It might just be worth it.
Take A Look by Caroline Gilmour is out now and can be purchased at Imported Instruments, Ocean Terminal Edinburgh as well as most digital download sites including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify
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