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Music Review

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With the Dawn


Artist: Bella Hardy
Label: Noe Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 March 2015

Bella Hardy’s seventh solo album With The Dawn - her first since being named BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer Of The Year in 2014 - is an account of one year of her life. Where previously Bella has adapted and explored traditional ballads and fables to tell her contemporary folk tales, the stories that inspired these songs are her own experiences: good and bad, happy or sad...

With The Dawn is a more intimate and reflective album from Bella Hardy. As a consequence, I think it's fair to say, that it may also come across as a little self-indulgent. This album will, no doubt, divide fans. For those that have been following her over the years, then she can do no wrong, but for general folk fans this may sound a little like she's lost her way.

There were numerous times on this album where I was reminded of Eddi Reader (especially on 'You Don't Have to Change (But You Have to Choose)' and 'Another Whisky Song'.)

To be fair, while I appreciate what Hardy was aiming for, I can't help feeling that this was a missed opportunity. While tracks like 'First Light of the Morning' and 'Jolly Good Luck to the Girl That Loves a Soldier' are easily accessible, there's a sizable proportion of the album that I really felt sounded half finished.

While not awful, I do think it's one for her hard core fan base only.


Nick Smithson

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