Carol Fieldhouse – Linen

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Mary Andrews | Stars: 4/5

Linen is a beautifully presented debut album, the artwork is soft and stylish, with welcomed liner notes. The whole album is written (or co-written) by Carol Fieldhouse with the exception of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, a brave choice of cover. The album has been beautifully produced by Boo Hewerdine and the production and performances are hard to fault. This is certainly a well put together release. The guitar is beautifully played, the vocals are well delivered and the mixing is perfect. “A Little Piece of Land” has a distinctly John Denver feel to it, beautifully sung, arranged and written it could be a song straight out of 1970’s Colorado if it weren’t for the references to rural mobile phone and broadband black spots. It’s a lovely start to the album. The other stand out track is Billy Marshall a song written about the Galloway ‘King of the Gypsies’. It’s the most produced track on the album, driven along with the assistance of Neill Macoll, Boo Hewerdine and Evan Carson. The rest of the album is… well, it’s just a bit too easy to forget. There’s little wrong with any of it… there just wasn’t much that really caught my interest. There’s a lot of introspective, very similar feeling songs that don’t particularly go anywhere. Slightly jazzy middle-of-the-road singer songwriter material. It’s the kind of stuff that a writer needs to get out of their system so they can get on and write the good stuff. One of those songs, maybe even two, would be absolutely fine. As it is, they just blended together. I had high hopes for the cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. It’s well sung. It’s well produced. It’s something I’m sure I’d enjoy if I heard it performed live… but it didn’t make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up in the way I might have hoped. If this were a single, or possibly an EP, it could have been a triumph. Carol Fieldhouse has proved herself more than capable with this debut and to that extent we’re looking forward to the 2017 project ‘Hill’, if she can capture some of the quality she achieved with Billy Marshall and A Little Piece of Land it’ll be a project well worth taking note of.