Claire Sproule - Claire Sproule

Martin Drury 10/10/2005

Rating: 4/5

Claire Sproule's self-titled debut release is her business card. In sweet binary it whispers: “One of the most talented singers ever to emerge onto the music scene”. Claire's voice has the beauty of Katie Melua, the command of Norah Jones, the sweet tenderness of Polly Paulusama and the elegant, simple, stunning majesty of Emiliana Torrini's fireside tones. Claire's influences include jazz, soul and country music but this record release is a revolution rather than a rehash. A cliché it may be but Sproule is stunningly superb. She is one of the few heirs apparent to the queen of jazz herself Diana Krall. Sproule can command up-tempo show-stoppers with the same ease as the slower, heartfelt numbers. Her musical gift smoulders through the digital embers. Her voice sets the record alight for sure. But the fire is yet to reach its full ferocity. There's more to come from Miss Sproule. So many introductions in the music world fade into the wilderness. Here today, gone tomorrow. Not Sproule. Sproule surpasses all expectations. She'll be a Radio 2 favourite in the blink of an eye but don't dismiss her as the emissary of the easy-listening pap. She is a performer. Listen to her move those notes and ease those tones across chords both vocal and musical. She's accompanied but she shines like a star.

Claire Sproule is proof conscious that the truth is beautiful. The musical truth in all of this is that Miss Sproule's sound will warm, excite, intoxicate you. The embers of her smouldering vocals are evocative, echoing sweet nothings into your mind and through your heart. We are in the presence of a true performer with the talent to go as far as she sees fit.

Sproule's songs embody the pure spirit of joy and the life-affirming mantra that hit's the ear is pure bliss in motion. A poet and a scholar as well as a musician. Could anything be more sexy in a woman? Sproule draws you in with much more than looks. She has an abundant arsenal at her disposal. Sproule is an accomplished singer-songwriter, a wordsmith who possesses both the prowess of a confidence jazz singer and the soft, tender worldview of a Romantic poet. Keats would be jealous and Byron would scowl and pretend Sproule's gift could be contained, that- if you squinted hard enough and for long enough- you just might be able to see the strings. But no, Sproule is talented, tenacious and-quite simply- terrific. She sparkles like the gem she is. Welcome her with open arms and yearn, hunger for the next album.