One Sweet Kiss
Éilís Kennedy is a mellifluous singer from Dingle in County Kerry and this is her second album, following on from 2001’s Time to Sail. Like its predecessor it relies heavily on locally resident musicians though there’s a guest appearance from Paddy Keenan on the opening Go from My Window and Máire Breatnach pops up on Beauty Deas an Oileáin.
One Sweet Kiss is an undoubtedly polished affair, not least in the quality of both Éilís’s singing and its production, which draws its song material from the Irish and Scottish traditions, as well as including Dylan’s Boots of Spanish Leather and J. Goodenough’s Parting Song.
However, any chef asked to describe the overall confection would probably head directly for the word ‘sugary’ while ornithologists might seek reference to those slight birds which are so feathery that they sometimes have trouble landing. Sure, there’s nothing here to discourage or send listeners into brown studies, but that’s the crux of the problem for, like an edentate alligator, One Sweet Kiss lacks bite. Indeed, in terms of kisses it’s more a light peck on the cheek than a laryngeal investigation.
One wonders what exactly would spark Éilís into anger. There’s a sense it might happen (and ought to at least suggest the semblance of such) within Helen of Kirkconnell (whose title is misspelt twice on the CD’s cover), but chickens should not be counted. Typical of the album’s overall anodyne feel is the saccharin-substitute Siúl a Rúin – do we really need yet another version? – and the attempt at a jazzily syncopated arrangement of Ailliliú na Gamhna (again misspelt) which probably left the calves hanging around in the meadows for several weeks.
Rather than buy this album, why not just head down to your local cake shop?
13th February, 2006
Éilís’s website is www.eiliskennedy.com.