Maeve O'Boyle: Intermission (ep)

~ Friday, 18 November 2011
We loved O'Boyle's debut album here at The Music Critic hq, so we were quite excited when this mini album arrived. Intermission is a stripped bare acoustic and vocal affair with re-recordings of tracks from her debut along with some choice covers.

The record kicks of with a cover of Tom Wait's Ol'55 and straight away you are struck by the sheer purity and warmth of O'Boyle's voice. This lady has the ability to raise the hairs on the back of the neck with effortless ease. This is a fine interpretation of a great song that manages to top Waits himself. She also cover Springsteen's No Surrender and, somewhat bizarrely, Resist by Canadian rockers Rush. Both are good but fall short of the magic she showed on Ol'55.

On her debut album there was one track that producer Calum Malcolm just got completely wrong and this has been redressed here. Facing Home is arguably O'Boyle's finest song and a firm live favourite but when it appeared on her debut album it had been over produced and its simplicity destroyed. Here, in its stripped bare form, the vulnerability of the lyrics are matched by the haunting lit of O'Boyle's voice and it is just simply beautiful.

For me though, it is the brilliant Taxi that steals the show. Written when O'Boyle was only 13, it is a masterful slice of pop that paints pictures of late night Glasgow and lingers in the head long after the closing bar. I would go as far as to say that Maeve O'Boyle is the best female singer songwriter that Scotland has produced in the last 30 years. Seriously.... this girl is that good.