People Like Me

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A veteran of the music and acting business, this isn't Alyth's first album, but it might be the first to gain major recognition -- which she very richly deserves. Perhaps the nearest analogue is fellow Scot Eddi Reader, although the voices and styles are very different. But there's a similar open, warm honesty to the way they approach music. Alyth is more rooted in tradition, perhaps, with fully half this disc in the Gaelic of the Western Isles where she grew up. But she's just as much as home with excellent contemporary material like "People Like Me," the winning "The Beautiful Lie," or the folk standard "I Wonder What's Keeping My True Love Tonight," and she brings a fresh twist to that by building the intensity verse by verse. Throughout, her performances are impeccable, and she does perfect justice to mouth music on "The Vices Set," while there's a luminous joy to the Gaelic songs. Interestingly, the overall approach isn't folky, but more on the acoustic pop end of the spectrum, making it far more accessible. All in all, a definite winner.

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