Patricia O'Callaghan

Slow Fox

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Released in 1999, this 55-minute CD was Patricia O'Callaghan's second full-length. The sub-title of her first album succinctly described O'Callaghan preferred genre: "Cabaret & Art Songs." The Canadian soprano's voice should appeal to fans of Sarah McLachlan, and her song selection is squarely in the somber, reflective singer-songwriter camp. The 15 tracks include nine written by Kurt Weill, four by Arnold Schoenberg, and two by Leonard Cohen. Cohen is the most obvious influence on the surface of her music, almost Carole King with a dark side. Her interpretations are wonderfully melancholy and poignant, like those of Laura Nyro. The inclusion of so many Weill tracks is significant, as O'Callaghan has a knack for tackling complex pop songs. Her strong, modern voice singing turn of the century cabaret songs is intriguing and works more often than not. Standout tracks include "Take This Waltz," "Hallelujah," and "Stay Well." Slow Fox was not released in the U.S., but some of the tracks here were repeated on 2001's Real Emotional Girl. Solid interpretations of songs singers don't cover much anymore. Overall, the album is exciting, literate, and sophisticated. Slow Fox may be that haunting and sexy album you are looking for.

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