Artist: Helen Boulding
album: Calling All Angels
Label: Made In Sheffield
Taking her more traditional ‘girl and guitar’ sound and throwing influences like The Cardigans and Bat for Lashes at it, Sheffield based singer/songwriter Helen Boulding hopes to create something memorable. While she doesn’t quite achieve this, the end result is far from unpleasant.
The album seems to have a split personality. One, the calmer, more acoustic focussed side that Boulding’s more familiar with and the other the electro stylings she’s tried to incorporate. It Might Just Be You and Great Expectations are nice examples of the experiment, cohesive amalgamations of both sides, it experiment simply isn’t tried enough to really come off.
That’s not to say that those tracks not experimenting aren’t easy on the ears. In fact Long Time Coming and the absolutely barren and tender Something To Believe In are hallmarks of good, simplistic music making. When Boulding gets personal and exposed is where her innocent sounding voice has the most impact, with it really standing out in the intimate Crooked Tooth, a song inspired by her hubby.
It doesn’t seem to matter what side of the musical divide the lyrics are on, as they maintain a surgery sweetness throughout. The unapologetically happy and bouncy Glorious and the joyful The Innocents stand out as the clear examples, but the cheeriness seeps throughout the album.
While a thoroughly sunny disposition may sound appealing, after a while it just gets a little wearing, despite the light sweetness of her voice.
Probably best enjoyed a couple of tracks at a time, Calling All Angels may just be a little too angelic for its own good, with a little spice needed to move a good if slightly forgettable album up the pegs.
Helen Boulding – Calling All Angels is out now
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith