Carol Noonan

Self Titled

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After completing a three-record contract with Philo, Carol Noonan, disappointed by her critically acclaimed albums' only modest commercial success, gave up the music business and retired to her farm in Maine, where she lived with her husband, who had a business sewing nets for commercial fishermen. But her husband's business was drastically reduced by changes in government regulations that caused many fishermen to abandon the work, and she found herself working two jobs to help make ends meet. These dire conditions led her back to songwriting, and in turn to her fourth album, which she has released exclusively on her website. Given her personal situation and the absence of any record company oversight, it is not surprising that she has produced a less than cheery effort; in fact, Self Titled may be one of the bleakest albums ever made. "Lost Soul," the first song written for it, begins with the lines "don't bring me company/I don't want any," and goes on to speak of loss despairingly. "Just Because" continues the theme by describing a man and woman who cry because they are no longer what they were. Other songs are less personal, but just as depressed. Noonan leavens the gloom slightly by using a few traditional folk songs. As ever, she sings effectively and composes attractive, if slow and ponderous music to accompany her lyrics. This is an uncompromising album by an artist completely unafraid of exposing her darkest feelings. One hopes it had a cathartic effect for her; it is likely to have one for her listeners. [This album is available exclusively through www.carolnoonanmusic.com.]

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