Ms Carter has reinvented herself recently dropping the Carter with a newly produced album by Dan Auerbach. It’s a highly polished affair and obviously designed to break the American market. It’s a little over produced for me and a lot of the songs just wash over you and I think that this works against Yola’s stunning vocal talent. It’s a unique voice evoking ‘in Memphis’ era Dusty along with a bite or two from other greats of soul and country. I can’t put my finger on it, whether this is the quality of songs or the shift to a more soulful approach but it doesn’t move me. I do think that the slight move away from the country tinge of her EP has taken a little of her character out of the music.
The same criticism is true for tonight. Backed by a tidy six piece backing band it all feels very safe. The set tonight airbrushes nearly everything that she has done before save one track from her EP or previous band Phantom Limb. Whilst the opening forty minutes was pleasing enough it wasn’t really until ‘It Aint Easier’ that she really lets loose and that amazing voice sends shudders through the room. This is quickly followed by a great cover of Birds of Chicago’s ‘Never Go Back’ and the album’s standout track ‘Faraway Look’. The momentum carries through to the encore of ‘Spanish Harlem’, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and ‘The Letter’.
So, like the football last night it was a game of two halves with an uninspiring 45 minutes of nice enough music followed by an immaculate display from a unique talent to win the day.
Till the next time keep on rockin y’all