Jake Cogan and the liberty roses: Jake Cogan and the liberty roses

~ Friday, 5 November 2010
Scottish singer songwriter Jake Cogan has been making a few waves across the folk and pop world with her enigmatic stage performances and beautifully crafted songs for a few years now. With most of the songs being co-writes or covers, the emphasis is firmly put on Cogan's considerable vocal talents with the blend of folk and pop melodies acting as embellishments to her breathy and haunting voice.

Album opener The Endless Road is a rather uninspiring affair, mainly due to the lack luster production of Marc Pilley but things are soon redeemed with the spirited fiddle and banjo driven Spinning Rooms. It is however with the arrival of her cover of the Jimmy McCarthy classic The Mad Lady and Me that you become fully aware that you are listening to a very special talent. Christy Moore and Sinead O'Connor have both covered this song but Cogan takes it and gives a performance that towers head and shoulders above their versions which is no mean feat.

The beautiful Tonight is driven by the inspired inclusion of a Tabla drum and serves to give a unique feel to the whole song by tying together the haunted vocals with the ethereal fiddle arrangement. The whole effect is quite mesmerising. Cogan again manages to pull of a masterstroke with her cover of Gillian Welch's Annabelle where she outshines the original
with a performance that is simply breath taking.

The album closes on the stark and bittersweet A Road Less Travelled which again highlights the breathy, almost pained, vocals of Cogan who is sure to find herself on a much bigger stage with the release of this album. It is not perfect but that is easily forgiven because of that voice... and oh what a voice it is.


[][][][] (4/5)