A relaxed set of songs with unexpected lyrical depth, the warm, largely acoustic Driftwood is also gorgeously sung and arranged, something that will come as no surprise to longtime Eddi Reader fans. Also as per usual, Reader brings in a fine array of talent to assist with the playing and songwriting here: co-producer Boo Hewerdine particularly distinguishes himself on both counts throughout, while Ron Sexsmith stops in only just long enough to contribute the lovely "Wasting Time." In addition, Reader proves once more on Driftwood that she's perfectly capable of writing a memorable song entirely on her own with the upbeat yet disquieting "Good Girl." And as if all that weren't enough, she also shows once again that she possesses the ability to find interesting tunes to cover, both modern (Gillian Welch's achingly pretty "Paper Wings") and traditional (the mournful "Curragh of Kildare"). To satisfy the pedants out there, however, it should be noted that Driftwood opens with an alternate version of Simple Soul's "I Felt a Soul Move Through Me" (herein retitled "Old Soul"), and that the album was recorded simultaneously with Simple Soul. This has led some to classify Driftwood as an album of outtakes; it isn't. Driftwood is a fine, gentle Eddi Reader album that just happened to be recorded at the same sessions as another fine, gentle Eddi Reader album. Would that there were more artists who could squeeze two such charming albums out of a single set of recording sessions.
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AllMusic Review by Rudyard Kennedy