Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hannah Faulkner - Ni Ni Album

Hear The Track Here

Hannah Faulkner is a young lady who seems to be going places at a pretty fast clip and - I have to admit - I have become more and more interested in hearing her since the final session of Open Mic UK which is soon to be a Sky TV series. S'no good groaning and who knows, maybe it's better than X Factor or BGT, AND it will not feature anyone called Simon (hopefully). Sadly Hannah did not win, but the competition was fierce beyond belief - some very talented people out there. Mind you, if I had been the one to choose it would have been Hannah, hands down. Still, the compensation is that she has shedloads of gigs around the UK this year and I suggest you get your butts off the couch and check her out. Ni Ni has been out since late last year and it's a crying shame I couldn't get to it sooner. Tell you what, as rough as the sound is on the live videos it really shows her incredible voice off to great effect.

Didn't really get that off the relatively restrained track one, Never Felt Like This Before, at least not from the first listen. However, like this whole fifteen song album, it definitely grows on you. As it happens the UK has an abundance of good female musicians at this present time, all of them exploring some neglected corners of the musical spectrum so mentioning Amy Winehouse and Adele in the same breath should give you some idea what to expect. Must Be Dreaming shows that comparisons are meaningless because Hannah Faulkner has her own way, as the mentioned singers have and that's a really, really good thing. Left Right Left is another really, really good thing, for my money one of the standouts of this set. If there was any justice in this world, this would be a massive hit. God, when she growls out the vocal I swear that the hairs on the back of my neck are dancing, never mind standing on end. Stone cold MUST HAVE right there, I tell ya.

I've been around long enough to recognise quality, even in the rough (as in the videos), and Hannah Faulkner is a quality songwriter with a voice to die for. There's even a nod to the UK's rap scene in I Don't Understand so how can you resist. Want a weepie ballad, a proper three hankie job? The One will satisfy that urge to have a good bawl. See, that's the thing about this album, there is everything here, all adorned with the diamond vocal from the lady herself. It even feels kind stupid saying 'ooh listen to this' and 'and this!! ****' when the only really sane way to take in someone like Hannah Faulkner is to listen to the whole thing - again and again and again. For sure I have my favourites, and I do like the videos (and not just for the eye candy) but the real audio is by far the better way of getting to know this stunning singer and I can only say that each track stands on its own merits, you'll find your own favourites. My only negative comment would be that the restrained feel I mentioned comes from the recording and/or production because as you can see from the videos, she's a belter... A wider arrangement and fuller production would have killed from a 1000 paces but still...

MUST HAVE for all that.

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