Album Review | Story Records | Review by Phil Carter | Stars: 4/5
It’s hard to believe that Bring Back Home is Ange Hardy’s sixth studio album, how did that happen?! Hardy’s prolific output in no way sacrifices quality over quantity, and in fact it is the consistently high standard of her music that never ceases to amaze her ever growing and appreciative audience. It’s testimony to Ange Hardy’s standing that in spite of the deluge of CD’s I am lucky enough to hear over the course of a year, her hugely enjoyable 2016 release Findings, accompanied by Lukas Drinkwater can still be found a year later residing within easy reach of my CD player and continuing to enjoy frequent playtime. Bring Back Home picks up where Findings left off and once again presents the listener with a well-structured portfolio of finely crafted songs all beautifully performed and that collectively should at last see Ange Hardy rightfully take her place amongst Folk’s major league players. Hardy has always managed to amass an array of notable musicians to guest on her albums, with previous guest lists including Nancy Kerr, Kathryn Roberts, Ciaran Algar, Archie Churchill-Moss and Evan Carson. Bring Back Home is no exception, and the album features some wonderful cameos from Peter Knight, Alex Cumming, with return appearances from Lee Cuff and Evan Carson. In essence, Bring Back Home is a truly exquisite album with all but two songs being original compositions. It would be grossly unfair to pick out individual tracks for preference or special mention as the quality and structure of the album affords each song an equal place at the table. My appreciation and affection for Ange Hardy’s music grows from album to album and her latest work only serves to further increase my regard for her as a consummate performer and an extraordinarily talented writer, musician and interpreter of traditional folk song. One thing’s for sure, Bring Back Home will be yet another Ange Hardy album that doesn’t find itself at the bottom of the CD pile for some time to come.