The Anchoress – “Confessions of a Romance Novelist” (2016)

Label: KScope

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Catherine Anne Davies is not a female religious hermit, rather she is a talented musician whose new album debuts under the name of The Anchoress. “Confessions of a Romance Novelist” takes on a literary theme with a collection of songs that are intended to be representative of various story character perspectives. With a song named “PS Fuck You” and self-labeled genre of ‘Revenge Pop’ one wonders who is the target of vengeance? Musically ranging from piano ballads to funky pop the album presents us with generally straightforward and well performed music. The album begins with the best song in this collection. “Long Year” is a song of drawling coolness with a vocal snarl. It is driven by percussion and excellent vocal performance. In keeping with the theme of the album each song is quite different, while an interesting approach, none of the subsequent songs match the intensity of “Long Year”. Traversing a variety of styles from the cinematic, through funky, to piano/strings ballads there is lot on the album to enjoy.  Lyrically there are clever lines as you would expect considering this is an album in the theme of novelist. The cheeky “Popular” and pleading “Bury Me” are the only songs that rise above the rest of the album. It all sounds good, but nothing has the emotional impact of the opening song. Perhaps there was an intention to show the romance novelist churning out material that became increasingly distant but I do not feel the “revenge” in this pop. It is there lyrically – “So, PS Fuck you/Because I don’t really care/Been waiting to say that for so many years”. However, the the emotional promise of the lyric is not delivered in the vocals. In keeping with a romance novel, there is a hot and steamy moment on “Confessions of a Romance Novelist”, but the rest of the content is patchy. Everything is entertaining smooth pop but I ended the experience wishing there was more substance. Maybe my expectations were raised too high by the opening song.

Rating – 76/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Long Year
  2. What Goes Around
  3. Doesn’t Kill You
  4. You and Only You (feat. Paul Draper)
  5. One For Sorrow
  6. P.S. Fuck You
  7. Popular
  8. Bury Me
  9. Intermission (Notes to the Editor)
  10. Waiting to Breathe
  11. Chip On Your Shoulder
  12. Confessions of a Romance Novelist
  13. Rivers of Ice (Bonus Track)

 

Links

facebook.com/theanchoress

twitter.com/the_anchoress

iamtheanchoress.com