This review was first
published on CLUAS in 2002
Other albums reviewed in 2002
Sarah Jane Hudson
A review of her self-titled debut album
My heart sank when I first saw the sleeve of Sarah Jane Hudson's self titled
debut album. The lady herself must have won any number of Lovely Girl
competitions and there she is on the front cover, naturally dressed in black,
trying to look mystical, vulnerable, wounded and wistful - all at the same time.
The bile factor goes up a gear when you take a butchers at the sleeve notes,
which feature a quote from Yeats. Somewhere under bare Ben Bulbin's head poor
old W.B. is frantically spinning in his grave.
If you love turkey you'll love this album. We're in Corrs country here, but, what's worse, if the Corrs are the U2 of Celtic Tiger soft rock, Sarah Jane Hudson represents the Cactus World News of this tacky touchy feely genre. She obviously worked desperately hard at trying to make this album successful but it falls down on a number of fronts. Most pertinently, there is no emotional range to Sarah Jane's voice. It's not strong enough to be strident nor tender enough to be vixenish. The album's arrangements are uniformly awful, and its melodies are elevator music bland.
Overall, the songs featured on this album are startlingly unoriginal, as in
terminally bad Eurovision tripe, real bottom of the barrel stuff. The album's
lyrics are not even good enough to be complimented as doggerel, more Neil Lennon
than John Lennon. When you hear someone singing "watch over me / when the
reservoir of pain overflows" the world really seems a dark and lonely place.
I gather Sarah Jane is Irish born but is living in New York. She may crack the American market with this album and good luck to her if she does. Having said that I hope I never hear this album again.