Review Archive

‘Probably Me’ from Polly Barrett - songs that tell absorbing tales

(July 30, 2014)

Releasing in September 2014, Probably Me’ from Polly Barrett will delight those alb1 (1)familiar with her simple melodies and somewhat fragile, waiflike voice. This album delivers all that’s expected … with a touch more. Songs that tell absorbing tales, uplifting and despairing, personal examinations and broader revelations, narratives with a guileless honesty that broach hard issues.

The album opens with a seemingly gentle song delivering a powerful message, ‘The Greater Good’, takes you through another hard story of ‘young men going off to war’, by contrast the private views of ‘Who Knows’ offer a personal observation. Polly then moves to take on the Planxty-favourite ‘P Stands for Paddy I Suppose’ and follows with a ‘revenge-ballad’ approach with ‘Watch Out, Jack’ – an altogether different view on serving sentence on Jack The Ripper. The scope of this album offers both attraction and uncertainty. The attraction is the breadth of themes and variation, the uncertainty is the rapid switching of styles. You’re listening to the delightfully catchy ‘The Way We Use to Be’ - another personal story, a rapid switch follows as you’re confronted by ‘Andrew’ another tough observation on humanity, and then you’re back to that personal touch with ‘Lay Me Down’.

 Polly writes powerful songs, she builds themes into lyrics that never stint on the message. Probably Me’ is a bit of a roller-coaster ride with its ups, downs, twists and turns, trying to pin it down is a little like the proverbial ‘squirrel under a blanket’. Nonetheless this is an album that once you’re at home with the quick-fire flow of changes, you will enjoy.

Reviewer: Charlie Elland

Click here to return to the Review Archive page