Lucie Silvas – Letters To Ghosts – Review
Lucie’s voice is undeniably flawless. She has an extensive vocal range, with a stunning smoky – raspy, gentle tone even at volume, and is quite simply breathtaking. This album has an energetic force with a number of powerfully enchanting, exquisite and astonishing tracks
If you are a country music fan then you are probably well aware there is a lack of ‘known’ Country artists within the UK. With the exception of The Shires and Ward Thomas, UK Country just doesn’t seem to be as ‘well received’ as it should. Part of the problem lies with the vast majority assuming Country Music is all Rhinestones, Yodelling and Line-dancing. Country music has evolved immensely in the last ten years. Modern country doesn’t stretch too far from mainstream music now, although, in my opinion – there’s a lot more to it. If people would just give Country Music a chance, I think they would find themselves pleasantly surprised.
I was however, particularly surprised to hear that Lucie Silvas was turning to Country Music. Having been in the music industry for a number of years and being notably successful in the 2000’s with her album Breathe In, it tapped into my curiosity as to why Lucie wanted to steer into a more diverse direction. However, this is a good thing for Country Music, with Lucie being a well respected name within the music industry and very marketable, perhaps this will give the genre a lot more exposure, and convert her current fans to take heed to Country. It might also wake up the critics a bit more, who seem wildly ignorant about Country Music as a whole in the UK. At the moment, media regarding Country music in the UK relies heavily on the fans (Bloggers) to spread the word and broadcast any news.
Admittedly, I was never a fan of Lucie back in the day, not that I thought her music was bad, I was just listening to other artists and never really made the time, so I have listened to this album from a completely unfamiliar perspective.
If you don’t like country music, do not let her new genre title deter you from giving this album a listen. Whilst it holds many country music elements, it also very much caters to her previous fan base and to a commercial audience. The music from this album in general, is just great music – well produced, featuring strikingly good vocals and gripping songs with exceptional lyrics. This album is definitely more mature Pop Country, aimed as a radio-friendly album from what I hear when listening to it.
Lucie remains a distinguished artist and that shows on this album by the amount of production and the level of songwriting put into Letters To Ghosts. Having written with and for many great artists throughout her career, Lucie will certainly be seen as a prominent member of the Country music world soon, especially within the UK.
Although the album stays very inconsistent throughout, every song on the album is single-worthy. I was hooked from the intro to the very first song which is title track Letters To Ghosts. The song has such a nice ‘Spaghetti Western’ intro and a melodic style similar to Brandy Clark.
Songs such as Smoke, Roots and Shame are the most stand-out tracks for me. They all have charming melodies and powerful choruses, especially Smoke – an addictive song with vocals on top form and a chorus that reminds me of Nerina Pallot in her Fires album era.
Shame – is a nice storytelling song with a Southern, slightly gothic melody and a Country-Folk feel to it. It holds so much appeal, especially in terms of Country Music. There’s a certain Pistol Annies twist to it too.
There is always one track that has to be the least favourite and for me it is Find A Way – I can however, imagine this being a lot of people’s favourite – but for me it is just too commercial Pop. It’s a very catchy tune, very upbeat and a certain crowd pleaser. This is one of those songs that will get featured over live coverage of a festival. The good thing about this song, is that it would make a great addition to a live set with the instrumental force behind it.
How To Lose It All – with the percussive clapping throughout, I can also imagine this song being perfect live and becoming very crowd pleasing, I am already picturing a festival on a sunny day and people dancing. It is very up tempo and a fun song with an infectious chorus.
Roots – this is a really beautiful song, with a captivating melody and a slightly haunting feel from the piano and passionately dark vocals.
Unbreakable Us – is a sweet track with a lovely acoustic guitar intro which flows into a more dominant chorus with a folk vibe. An inspirational song with a lot of emotion.
Pull The Stars Down – a simple, yet notable tune with an effective use of piano. This song is quite peaceful and mesmerisingly quaint.
Villain – A slow tempo ballad with a simple piano accompaniment and a glorious, very haunting chorus made more impressive and atmospheric by the use of a violin.
Happy – is another one of my lesser favourites, but still a good song in its own right. I think, for me, I just prefer the more emotive, melodic, vocally challenging songs rather than the more commercial sounding tracks such as this one.
You Got It – a cover of the Roy Orbison track. Having loved the Bonnie Raitt version, I thought I would be very critical of this track, but found myself quite taken by it. This acoustic version has a much slower tempo and Lucie’s vocals do not veer too far from Bonnie’s, so they suit this song beautifully. Lucie has made this song her own, in some ways and makes it more emotional.
If you like artists such as Jewel, Nerina Pallot, Heather Nova, Beverley Craven and Michelle Branch, then this is is an album worth listening to.
Lucie’s voice is undeniably flawless. She has an extensive vocal range, with a stunning smoky – raspy, gentle tone even at volume, and is quite simply breathtaking. This album has an energetic force with a number of powerfully enchanting, exquisite and astonishing tracks.
Letters To Ghosts will be released 2nd September on Decca Records and can be pre-ordered here:
Letters to Ghosts by Lucie Silvas
Hannah Compton August 19th 2016