Review Archive

Mr. Bookshop’ a fine collection of self-penned songs

(January 12, 2012)

The minute the opening track ‘Weak’ kicks-in, Polly Barrett’s voice reaches out to demand your undivided attention. There’s that indefinably attractive combination of clarity edged with accent thatMr. Bookshop seduces from the first, and with her effortlessly unadorned style makes her debut album ‘Mr. Bookshop’ a fine collection of self-penned songs. It’s a treat worth taking time to relish.

The gentle subtlety of ‘Sunday’s Well’ will touch a nerve, while the lovingly crafted ‘February’ with its softly engaging melody and the longing desire encapsulated in ‘Spring Fever’ will hit deep-seated emotions in everyone. These are songs from a songwriter that knows how to craft an engaging tune and write a precise lyric, and they unerringly hit the spot. There’s an infectious lilt to both ‘Synchronicity’ and ‘Almost Friend’ that lodges their penetrating messages in your mind – be not surprised should you find their softly accurate stories tripping quietly through your head long after the songs finish. The eponymous ‘Mr. Bookshop’ is a tender excursion through dreams of love and expectation – with its searching lyrics and soft banjo accents Polly delivers an achingly beautiful song.

Playing alongside Polly (guitar, lead vocals) on the album are Michael Daly (banjo, backing vocals) and Josh Sampson (drums).

Is ‘Mr. Bookshop’ a folk album, acoustic pop or folk-pop? Truthfully, there’s a little of all contained within its cover and it’s the mix of those elements that makes this album an easy to access, highly rewarding experience.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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