A Girl Called Eddy

A Girl Called Eddy

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Three years after the sensational Tears All Over Town EP, Erin Moran (aka A Girl Called Eddy) issued her debut long-player in the United States via the maverick Epitaph subsidiary Anti. Produced with aplomb by Pulp's Richard Hawley and Colin Elliot, this self-titled outing is an exercise in melancholy, depth, intimacy, and pure pop sophistication. Moran's songwriting approach is unabashedly romantic; it's torchy yet sweet, and her love of songwriters from Scott Walker to Burt Bacharach to Brian Wilson to Jim Webb is everywhere evident. In addition, her voice is a dead cross between Chrissie Hynde's and Karen Carpenter's. Hawley and Elliot have a symbiotic empathy for Moran's method. While she holds down the piano chores, this pair play all manner of guitars, basses, and electric keyboards with Shez Sheridan and Andy Cook, and selectively employ string and horn sections where appropriate. She reprises two cuts from the previous offering in the devastating ballad "Heartache" (which quotes the piano intro to the Carpenters' "Close to You") and the aching "Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside." The album opens with the blue-eyed soul-pop of "Tears All Over Town," with its ringing Rickenbacker guitars, swirling strings, and rich piano textures. It is followed by the genuinely sad, loss-drenched "Kathleen," written for Moran's late mother, with acoustic and electric guitars starkly winding around a skeletal string section; above it all Moran's voice haltingly expresses its grief. There is a big production number as well in "People Used to Dream About the Future," with its crashing waves of keyboards and strings and a bridge to die for. There's the jaunty cabaret pop of "Life Thru the Same Lens," the hushed, emotionally loaded "Did You See the Moon Tonight," and the heartbreak rock & roll of the album's closer, "Golden." In all, A Girl Called Eddy is a multi-textured, multi-dimensional journey into grand pop literacy; Moran's songs are examples of exquisite taste that is never cheeky or dishonest. On her album the heart speaks with grace, elegance, and force.

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