Tag Archives: Eva Cassidy

Review 23: Eva, by heart


Eva by Heart
Eva Cassidy
Nominated by Jackie Berry

After a long and testing day at work and being sardined on the tube with Arsenal fans, Eva by Heart was a welcome release.

I always wonder about posthumous hits. I am a very sentimental person and try to protect myself from this by applying cynicism. Does the poignancy of the singer’s death add to the appeal of the music? Terry Wogan played her loads, that’s why she’s popular. Sooty would have a hit record if Terry’s old geezers or gals heard it enough times…

To lift from Wikipedia, jazz critic Ted Gioia writes: ‘You might be tempted to write off the ‘Cassidy sensation’ […] as a response to the sad story of the singer’s abbreviated life rather than as a measure of her artistry. But don’t be mistaken, Cassidy was a huge talent, whose obscurity during her lifetime was almost as much a tragedy as her early death.’

I couldn’t say it better than that.

I really enjoyed this record, for its own sake. It’s really simple, with powerful traditional songs like Wade in the Water and How I can keep from Singing? balanced with more gentle ballads like Songbird and the lovely I Know you by Heart.

A beautiful, soulful voice. I hope she was imagining a confident and happy future when she was singing this – it sounds like it.

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