Linda Coogan Holding Back
Linda Coogan - Holding Back

Track Listing:
Holiday Blues
Where I Belong
Black Eyes
It’s Not Me It’s You
Last December
Silent Night
Tumbling Down
Hey Baby
Rebel Fear
Drunken Beauty
The Way Home
Death Of A Lover
For The Missing Ones

This arrived a few days ago accompanied by a lengthy note, a ‘Time Out’ and a teabag. Obviously Coogan knows me well, tapping into my deepest desires: tea and chocolate. Sitting down with said teas and chocolate to listen to the album, I was astounded. This album was put together without any help from the record labels and unlike others of its kind, it looks rather professional, nicely laid out with a detailed inlay booklet.

“My aim is to succeed and show other artists alike that we don’t have to fall at the knees of the massive labels, companies or industries to make ends meet or to succeed musically, or professionally”. It’s obvious that Miss Coogan has brains and popping in the CD, I have to admit she has the voice too. The first track, ‘Holiday Blues’ is outstanding, the simple beat at the beginning leads into a husky sensual voice that in places has a slightly naughty inflection “I don’t remember his face/ I musta met him/ in that low down dirty place”. The lyrics are beautifully complimented by the acoustic guitar and the mellowed bass. The song is something that I think everyone can relate to at one time or another in their life.

Unfortunately, possibly because there was no record label behind this (in no way do I endorse the monopoly of record labels over the music industry) the album is poorly put together. The first track is so fantastic that the rest of the songs seem a breathless rhyming attempt to repeat it. This, needless to say, doesn’t happen. After the first track, the rest are too similar to be truly interesting or distinguishable. A more upbeat tempo would have solved this problem allowing Coogan to launch back into her husky lilting low key ‘Ally McBeal’ music.

The third track, ‘Black Eyes’ has a rhyming scheme like a child’s nursery rhyme, every first line rhymes with the next. This makes it very easy to pick up the lyrics along the way and sing along, but after a while it does become repetitious “Black eyes you have left you say/ blue eyes have failed to draw you away/yet you seemed more steady today/so can I not convince you to stay.” The rest of the album continues in much the same vein.

This Sarah McLaughlin / Joan Armatrading style begins to grate after a while, this is an album that needs to be filtered, listen to it while cleaning your room or having some friends over. This album does belong in your CD collection, to be used for dinner parties and slow dancing.
Review written by: Grace Larkin --

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