about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_daisychapman_thegreeneyed001006.jpg
I have to admit that I'm a little late to this party as I sit here reviewing Daisy Chapman's 2009 album 'The Green Eyed' early 2012, although we do occasionally delve into the past here at Metal Discovery with particular CDs submitted for review. And it's a past more than worthy of delving into for this is a sparkling gem of a discovery amongst a myriad of singer-songwriter albums, and one that shines brighter than almost all others. Instrumentations have been embellished at key moments with purposefully deployed strings and percussion (along with occasional guitar, trumpet, tambourine, and glockenspiel) to accentuate the affective depths already inherent in the compositions but at the core of each of the songs is Daisy's rather magnificent vocals and emotionally charged command over her piano as she marries both voice and instrument to utter perfection in ten captivating tunes. I say ten, but two are actually covers - Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' and Rihanna's 'Umbrella'. I would usually shun the inclusion of two cover songs on a ten track album but such is the genius of their reinvention (and I gather Daisy won a prestigious Independent Music Award for the latter through a judging panel featuring the rather eminent Tom Waits) that she might as well have taken a writing credit for them herself. 'Umbrella' is particularly brilliant in this down-tempo, heartfelt version and, quite simply, shits on the original, big-time. So what of the eight original compositions? Well, variety is the key here - not entirely stylistically, rather more emotionally. Such is the range of tonality and emotive expression in Daisy's voice, together with her aptitude for playing the piano with pure soulful intent, this is an album that will take you on an emotionally disparate journey as the mood of songs switch between the melancholic to the more upbeat and everything in-between, but always enriched with sublime melodies and a flawless performance. The ease with which Daisy's music achieves this hints towards the kind of talent that's innate, not just learned. And that natural, sincere quality to the album shines through on each and every song. Highlights? None, the entire album is a highlight, but to speak of just a few tracks - 'Oh Daddy' is loaded with subtly charming eccentricity and plays out almost like an anglicised chanson with an unexpectedly dark twist at its climax. Melancholy has never sounded more beautiful than that which oozes forth from 'The Piano', a finely crafted song that climaxes with an Ennio Morricone-esque melody layered with neat polyphonic harmonies over a steadily increasing crescendo of piano and strings during its final third. And the title track is a purely ambient affair, kind of shoe-gaze in essence, and epitomises Daisy's vocal talents as her delivery ranges from the tranquil to the powerful with amazing ease. Lyrically both intelligent and provocative, along with its aforementioned musical merits, 'The Green Eyed' is an album that's a highly sophisticated piece of work. It's up there with the best from the likes of Tori Amos and Amanda Palmer. If Daisy Chapman doesn't become a huge star within the near future then, well... just go listen for yourself to experience this talented lady's music for it's immense on every level.
Review by Mark Holmes
1) Madame Jeneva
2) Stay With Me
3) Oh Daddy
4) Ring of Fire
5) The Piano
6) Just Give Up, Jessica
7) Marry Mary
8) Umbrella
9) Does She Know What I Know?
10) The Green Eyed
"...a sparkling gem of a discovery amongst a myriad of singer-songwriter albums, and one that shines brighter than almost all others."