After a 10 year hiatus since her last original album, Juliet Lawson is back with the beautiful ‘Songs From The Suitcase…’ EP.
Having released her first album ‘Boo’ back in 1972, Lawson’s career in the music industry has been eventful to say the least. Seen as a British version of Joni Mitchell in the early days of her career, Lawson promised much and was predicted to be one of the ‘Superstars of 74’’ (Record Mirror), along with Linda Ronstadt and Cockney Rebel. Despite the positive reviews and praise Lawson received for ‘Boo’, this never transmitted into wide-scale success for a variety of outside factors. However, her dedicated cult following has been sustained throughout her career, which has seen her independently release two subsequent LP’s, ‘The One That Got Away’ and ‘Where I’m Coming From’, as well as a ‘best of’ entitled ‘Closer’.
Listening to ‘Songs From The Suitcase…’ it is apparent that Lawson’s talents are clearer than ever. Wielding the abilities of an experienced and talented songwriter, Lawson moves seamlessly between blues, jazz, folk and soul. Record opener, ‘The Skin You’re In’, begins with deft blues guitar, cool rhythms and an intelligent use of violin. Lawson’s delicate and calming voice works perfectly in the piece, whilst simultaneously adding subtle piano chords. ‘Melancholy Blue’ is more of a jazz ballad, utilising soft percussion, piano and melodic clarinet. The musicianship and restraint of Lawson is impeccable. Elsewhere, ‘Waste of a Woman’ is a wistful, more upbeat piece with a hint of Eastern Europe, whilst ‘A Woman Passer By On The Street’ is a melodically rich, slow and rather beautiful piece.
Writing some of her strongest material since ‘Boo’, Juliet Lawson has proved her capacities at writing timeless classics. Her varied influences and musical career have merely added to her unique, refined sound. ‘Songs From The Suitcase…’ is truly a work which must not be overlooked.
‘distinctive and imaginative singer-songwriter’ – Record Collector