Shirley Eikhard

Shirley Eikhard

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Shirley Eikhard's self-titled debut will shock anyone who is only familiar with her later jazz recordings; this album is straight MOR country in the Anne Murray mold. Still, even though the production on Shirley Eikhard is far too syrupy, and even though Eikhard was only 16 when this album was recorded in 1972, both her voice and her songwriting are astonishingly mature on this debut offering, making this album worth a listen for dedicated fans. A clear highlight is Eikhard's own take on her lovely "It Takes Time," which Anne Murray had recorded and taken to the Canadian Top 30 a year earlier. As well, Hoyt Axton's band stops in to play backup on the upbeat "Ease Your Pain," one of the few tracks on the album that manages to escape relentless over-production. Though this album is unquestionably dated, it's clear that, even at 16, Shirley Eikhard was capable of delivering something timeless -- even if the producers of this album were unable to resist mucking things up by trying to make it sound contemporary.

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