Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Second Time Around by Nell Bryden

Second Time Around cover art

Artist: Nell Bryden
Title: Second Time Around
Catalogue Number: 157 Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007

A wave of nostalgia washed over the Bluesbunny as he listened to this album. It was almost as if the essence of Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt and Barbara Mandrell had been distilled into New York songstress Nell Bryden's voice.

The songs themselves are a little bit country, a little bit bluesy and a little bit old time rock & roll. Starting near the end (and why not?), "If I Forget" neatly illustrates that point. It just doesn't sound like the kind of song that they make today. Listening to the rest of the album, Ms Bryden handles the fast songs - like "Where the Pavement Ends" - with suitable aplomb and Justin Smith's gypsy style fiddle provides the icing on the cake on that one. Having said that, the ballad "From Midnight On" was the highlight of the album for me. Oh yes, she's got that whole underlying passion thing well and truly sorted out.

All in all, this is a pretty conventional album that harks back to better times. However, it is also a charming one that should have wide appeal. The oddly scratchy quality to Ms Bryden's voice on some of the tracks did interrupt my enjoyment but perhaps that was a problem with the review copy. Or maybe it just needs to be heard on vinyl?

Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby.
Review Date: November 5 2008