Pauline Scanlon

Red Colour Sun

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Irish singer Pauline Scanlon, who got her start as the vocalist in Sharon Shannon's band, gets the chance to shine with her debut album. She's a very appealing singer, with a wide range of song interests, ranging from traditional music through singer/songwriter folk, even as far as a cover of Willie Nelson's "Valentine," which she injects with a strong dose of romance. She's possibly at her best where the heart is involved, giving a beautiful luminosity to Don McLean's "And I Love You So" and "All the Ways You Wander," where her voice is supported purely by drones. She's at her best, however, surrounded by a full complement of musicians, as on the traditional pieces "Molly Ban" and "What Put the Blood." Scanlon is good, with a true warmth about her that she communicates well, and there's strength to the arrangements, especially on the oft-heard "Springhill Mine Disaster," which takes on an individual identity here. But she's yet to develop into being the kind of voice that stops you in your tracks and demands you listen. That will happen -- the signs are here. But it'll take a little time. When her second or third album rolls around, be prepared for someone who is world-class.

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