ALBUM REVIEW: Maria Doyle Kennedy “Sing”

Maria Doyle Kennedy questions “Am I Choosing Right” as she opens her fifth studio album “Sing”, and the immediate answer is a blissful, resounding YES! The Irish singer/songwriter may be better known as Mrs Bates in “Downton Abbey” and Katherine of Aragon in “The Tudors”, but her lush vocals have been making their mark in her home country since the late 80s, so it is about time that her lush vocals are celebrated the world over.

“Sing” is a subtle, simple recording that emanates beauty from start to finish. With guest vocals from Damien Rice (“Sing”), Paul Brady (“Hola Luna”) and John Prine (“Yes We Will”), Kennedy displays an ability to share the spotlight yet still shine.

While her compositions are tender and beautiful, her lyrics are often pressing and poignant. However, it is a reflective Kennedy who really makes her mark. The self-determination of “The Silence” raises the bar, only to be superseded by the wistful “Yes We Will”.

Kennedy boasts the radio friendliness of Damien Rice, the sensitivity of Eva Cassidy and  the heart of Shelby Starner, yet it is her inner Joni Mitchell that shines through. “Sing” is a well-written, well-produced, uplifiting album that ticks every box and so much more. Simply put, “Sing” is much more than beautiful.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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