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Heidi Talbot Angels Without Wings (Navigator)

There is no denying that Irish singer songwriter Heidi Talbot is pretty.

It is also beyond debate that she has a very pretty voice, although I am not as entirely sold on her girlish tones as some of her most vocal admirers. And since she took up the challenge of penning her own material, sometimes in tandem with seasoned partnership practitioner Boo Hewerdine, sometimes with multi-instrumentalist husband John McCusker, there is no doubt that she writes very pretty songs – and this is a very pretty album.

Fortunately, however, and despite the impression given by that surface veneer and by the opening Fairground Attraction-like title track, there is more substance here than first appears, even if some of that depth is a little derivative. When The Roses Come Again, a duet with Tim O'Brien that has one Mark Knopfler on guitar, owes a debt to a well known George Jones song, and the auto-biographical I'm Not Sorry, addressed to an old lover and sure to become much-requested, is reminiscent of Emmy the Great, only a little sweeter.

Such borrowing, whether conscious or not, is no crime in pop, and Talbot sure has taste.

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