The Wild Colonials' debut record, Fruit of Life, is an inventive pastiche of a variety of folk and pop influences. The melodies and arrangements occasionally echo 10,000 Maniacs; Angela McCluskey's husky vocals recall the throaty excesses of the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray. But what sets this Scottish quartet apart is the rich virtuosity of Paul Cantelon's gypsy fiddling. His violin lends urgency and drama to the (many) larger-than-life, minor-key epic ballads, and ethnic flair to the upbeat folky foot-tappers. Producer Tchad Blake demonstrates a great sensitivity to the many colors in the Colonials' instrumental palette (didgeridoo, piano, tin whistle, cello, and richly textured percussion).
AllMusic Review by Darryl Cater