Anna Coogan – The Lonely Cry of Space & Time
I’m a big advocate of artists embracing diversity within their music, and I doubt there will be many albums out this year that will be able to challenge the new record from Anna Coogan when it comes to diversity. You name it, and you can find it here. The title track has hints of The Cranberries, the sparse and dramatic instrumental ‘Last Exit’ sounds like a Western soundtrack, and ‘Meteor’ showcases some tasteful electronica. ‘Wishing Well’ follows a dark folk sound with captivating rhythms, while album highlight ‘Wedding Vow’ sounds like some futuristic reinvention of the blues. There’s a lot on offer here, a vast range of different styles, and combinations thereof, for you to explore. Anna’s ambition regarding what she has tried to create here is certainly something to be admired.
Ambition however can be a double-edged sword. Just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Musically there is very little to find fault in, but in many places the vocals are a bit of an acquired taste to say the least. Anna’s operatic vocals on tracks such as ‘Burn For You’, while very impressive from a technical standpoint, feel like a step too far. They lack warmth, they lack heart, they seem to be there mainly for show but are far more likely to put people off than have them coming back for more. The point of experimenting is that there is no safe ground, there is an element of risk and not all endeavours end up being successful. The album has its share of missteps but there are more than enough intriguing creations here to make it worth your time.