Kate Rusby - Make The Light
2010, Pure Records
Yorkshire, England’s Kate Rusby has been recognized as a special talent since early in her career. The folk singer/songwriter was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1999 and was named one of the Top Ten Folk Voices of the Century. Labels came calling with contracts in hand, wanting Rusby to cut a pop record, but Rusby kept the faith then as she does even today; staying true to her musical roots. Rusby’s ninth album, Make The Light is her first entirely composed of original tunes, and offers on display with soulful, sultry and wonderfully interpretive voice that has made Rusby a staple on the folk circuit for over a decade.
Make The Light opens with “The Wishing Wife”, a song about magic and our ability to overcome our own circumstances. Told in allegory amidst a wonderfully uncluttered arrangement, the song shows off Rusby’s gorgeous voice perfectly. It’s a brilliant start with a distinct Celtic feel. “The Mocking Bird” is a sketch in song using a lovely, traditional folk setting. “Let Them Fly” is a protest song of sorts that’s built around a tremendous hook. Rusby takes on dishonest politicians and their tendency to overcome our concerns with smiles and handshakes. “Only Hope” is a touching song that quests for love. Rusby creates a sweet moment with real emotion and a melody that practically insinuates itself into your mind.
Rusby unearths melancholy regret on “Lately”, a rumination on the passage of time and the sorrow that can accompany this. Rusby finds the threads of beauty amidst the sorrow she expresses and highlights them for the listener in dulcet tones. “Shout To The Devil” explores an ambivalence between falling in love and staying single so she won’t get hurt. Rusby’s performance here is wonderfully artful, displaying a quiet vulnerability that is both hopeful for what might occur and fearful of the same. This is Rusby at her best. “Green Fields” details the gentle escape of the world around us; a sort of Celtic “Strawberry Fields” moment that’s full of beauty. “Walk The Road” is a song of devotion set in a lovely arrangement with a gorgeous melody line that will stick with you. Rusby closes with “Four Stars”, a sweet and gentle goodbye that is an apt bow for Make The Light.
Kate Rusby is one of the defining voices of modern British Folk Music. Give her another twenty years and pundits and fans alike will be using terms like icon and legend. Rusby’s touch as a songwriter and story-teller is almost as refined as her voice. Make The Light is nothing short of breath-taking in its best moments. Even with a couple of more mundane offerings on the disc, Make The Light will turn out to be one of the best folk releases of 2010.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Kate Rusby at www.katerusby.com or www.katerusby.com. Make The Light is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. The album is also available from iTunes.