Nancy White

Gaelic Envy and Other Torch Songs

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On this, her 11th release, Nancy White continues to extend her satirical views and wry observations into a number of areas other than politics, and also continues to extend her musical boundaries. It is also interesting to note that this is her first new release since 1994's non-comedic Songs from the Spanish Civil War and Other Struggles, and although many of the songs on this CD are quite humorous, there is a tinge of sadness. Among other topics discussed on this CD include a tribute to Canadian folkie Stan Rogers ("Manly Band"), unrequited love, the struggles of Chile (a translation of Violeta Parra's beautiful "Gracias A La Vida"), and the struggles of being a Canadian musician ("Gaelic Envy"). The songs have a strong bite, and although the songs as usual bring a smile to the listener's face, there is an underlying seriousness to the whole affair. Nancy White is angry, fed up, and not content. She is quite clear about that with her writings. The music ranges from folk to cabaret to pop. This CD shows just how far Nancy has come since her debut album was released in 1978, and how much she matured as a writer and singer. Her voice is in top form throughout the whole album. Mixed with the wide variety of music (expertly played by long-standing collaborators Rick Whitelaw, Bob Johnston, and Doug Wilde, among others) are clever observations of life. Depending on the listener's mood, this CD can be either very funny or very depressing. However, Nancy is smart enough to end the CD on an up note, with the wonderfully joyful "My Life Is Picking Up". A very well-balanced CD, and as with her brilliant Momnipotent, the songs have a more universal appeal since they are not so political, nor do they sound dated. This CD would serve as a good introduction to this artist's work.

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