Raving Songbird reviews

Following the release of Eva Cassidy’s posthumous album Songbird, British music critics outdid each other in superlatives:

“Her approach is subtle, but intense at the same time. Her voice is almost superhuman, seemingly descended from a higher place.”

“Eva Cassidy is able to bend her notes with a sculptor’s care. She changes the melody to something completely new. I love the sheer sound of her soprano, graced by a tone as plush as fleece. The purity of her tone strikes me, the unadorned quality of it shines through.”

“Honestly, you would be hard pushed to find a singer of any gender or any genre that competes with Eva. Some may have her beat when it comes to technical ability, range, and expressive technique, but for clear tone, an angelic natural voice, and the maturity to know exactly what to do with it, Eva is unbeatable.”

“The material on this album is drawn from various recording she released while still alive. It’s all cover versions – Eva never had the confidence to write her own songs, so the story goes. She also thought she was a poor guitarist, which she wasn’t. In any case, we’re forced to look at her as a performer and an interpreter rather than a writer, and as far as those criteria go, ‘Fields Of Gold’, ‘Songbird’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’ are all spectacular successes – great renditions of already great songs.”

“I absolutely love the Songbird album, and I have found myself listening to it more and more recently, as I have become more familiar with the tracks.”

“Her voice is very moving and you can feel her emotion when she sings. Her delivery is so clean and unforced that the nuance stands out in sharp relief. It is like putting on glasses and suddenly everything is brighter and more 3-D…. except this is working on your ears. It is like listening to a close friend who doesn’t have to over sell the meaning of what she is saying… she knows you’ll see the deep and high parts.”

Gold Songbird Record

Gold Songbird Record

Songbird was released in 1998, eighteen months on from Cassidy’s death. At this point, she was virtually unknown in the United Kingdom. A year later Eva’s music was brought to the attention of British audiences when her versions of ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ were played by Mike Harding and Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2. Following an overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of ‘Over the Rainbow’, taken at Blues Alley in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. by her friend Bryan McCulley, was shown on BBC Two’s Top of the Pops 2. Shortly afterwards, Songbird climbed to the top of the UK Albums Chart. The album has sold millions of copies.

Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy (this picture was made by Eva’s friend Elaine Stonebreaker, it was used for the cover of the Songbird album)

4 responses to “Raving Songbird reviews”

  1. John D. says:

    All you need to know is that Eva’s rendition of ‘Fields of Gold’ was played at my mother’s memorial service and will be played at mine. Transcendent.

  2. Val Roy says:

    This would be my desert island take……wonderful wonderful Eva ?

  3. gary swenson says:

    Her music, with its unique interpretations, seems to reflect her symbiosis with the world. Her greatest asset was a voice that translated it so well.

  4. Jan says:

    No other artist has resonated deeper in me….she is a true songbird on so many levels…miigwech…

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