Brigid Boden

Brigid Boden

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AllMusic Review by

The mystery of Brigid Boden's debut stems as much from the artist's disappearance from the music scene as it does the peculiar combination of trip-hop, Irish folk, and reggae used to create the 1996 release's refreshing and original worldbeat ambience. Former ballerina Boden mixes her angelic, breathy vocals with producer and songwriter Kevin Armstrong's silky beats to create 12 tracks of first-rate ethereal funk. Stand-out cuts like the minor dance hit "Oh How I Cry" and the Irish fiddle-laden techno triumph "Fairest" capture the scope and color of Armstrong's production. The knob-twiddler deserves much credit for never letting his unique soundscapes overpower Boden's light-as-air vocals. With such accomplished production assistance, Boden was given a great opportunity to shine, and she took advantage of it, for the most part. The straightforward folk-traditionalist lyrics reflect Boden's affection for her musical heritage and fortifies her distinction from U.K. trip-hop and other similarly spacious forms of '90s Euro-electronica. This heavily nuanced record will probably strike casual fans (without the patience to explore Brigid Boden's many subtleties through repeated listening) as a tad restrained or even monotonous. Among this eclectic material, one great, memorable song is noticeably missing, leaving Boden's pretty voice, face, and lyrics without the star-making vehicle necessary to capture major media attention. Released just prior to a huge shake-up at her A&M label home, Boden was perhaps a victim of wholesale cost-cutting that left many new artists without a home and a chance to develop fully. No matter the cause, Brigid Boden isn't much more than a first and last glance at a promising, yet unrealized vision.

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