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Time After Time
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12 tracks, including Kathy's Song; Ain't No Sunshine; At Last; Easy Street Dream; I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again; The Letter ; the title track, and more.
Minus all the machinery that the music industry can put behind an artist, Eva Cassidy sang bewitchingly in Washington, D.C. and then died without fanfare in 1996, when she was a mere 33 years old. And then the world began hearing Cassidy, thanks largely to Songbird, a posthumous collection of locally released album tracks that went on to garner media attention, critical praise, and commercial success. This collection gathers both live and studio cuts delivered within warm, mostly acoustic settings; often it is simply Cassidy, her voice, and her guitar. Inside are some of Cassidy's best-executed covers, beginning with Paul Simon's "Kathy's Song" and ending with a stellar rendition of the traditional gospel "Way Beyond the Blue." In between are heart-wringing versions of Bill Withers's "Ain't No Sunshine" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." What distinguishes Cassidy so completely is her offhand ability to transform songs beyond their initial character with a voice that brilliantly mixes an airy floating quality and an edge that you know can pop open to reveal a belt-it-out strength to rival the best in the singer's trade. --Andrew Bartlett
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How to describe this extraordinary singer? I can't think of any singer who sounds like HER, although Eva's voice occasionally shows flashes of other singers' styles. On the gorgeous, yearning "At Last," Cassidy's vibrato mirrors the butterfly shimmer of Phoebe Snow--on Harlan Howard's brief and bittersweet "I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again," Cassidy has the throaty growl of Teri Thornton. No song seems beyond her capabilities. Her voice goes from heartbreakingly fragile to taunting to saucy to brimming with pain in a heartbeat. There isn't a dud on this album, nor on the other three I bought. My four-year old daughter has already proclaimed Eva her favorite singer. I have to say that I have nearly arrived at that opinion myself.
And the next song was "Ain't No Sunshine" which I have done by Boney James, Jose Feliciano, DMX, Ray Charles and several others. The album is so well crafted, it is like drinking 500 year old cognac. The smoothness, the feeling of serenity that it gives, especially with songs that are mostly familiar is just too much to pass up.
I recommend it to anyone who likes emotional music done in a purely humanistic manner. Eva has created a true masterpiece with this album.