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MUSIC REVIEW: Crowd sourcing continues

MIXED OFFERING: Josephine Onlyama

MIXED OFFERING: Josephine Onlyama

Billy The Kid

Stars, Exploding

After a promising debut EP, Billy Pettinger had a wonderful idea for getting the money together for her first full record.

Billy The Kid, as she’s known, simply asked fans to chip in.

She played fundraisers, birthday parties, anniversaries and did a range of outdoor activities with fans.

The result, after some very creative crowd-sourcing campaigns, was an album called Ours, quite appropriately.

A year after the first album quietly gained some critical praise, Billy The Kid is at it again. Fan-requested cover songs, surprise bundles and birthday presents have all helped to fund the new album, which was put together in Los Angeles.

There’s also been a whole range of TV and film outings for her material, including American Idol, One Angry Juror and 16 And Pregnant.

This has all helped to fund the next round of material, which will be showcased in a short February tour and makes up the new album on February 4.

The album itself is firmly country, the new material even more so than previous works – there’s more than one reason for Billy adopting the name Billy The Kid.

Some of the later tracks work really well, especially Long Way From Home, Running and New Orleans Night, which have a Shania Twain feel.

In fact, it was working up to a good finale but there is disappointment in the lacklustre instrumental of Solar Flare.

This is a fine country album by an upcoming artist with a passion for her music and deserves to do well, though rightly or wrongly she’s only going to make the transition to mainstream when country is blended with folk or pop.

Josephine

Portrait

The last 12 months have seen Manchester’s Josephine Onlyama breakthrough as a significant new voice in British music, an appearance on Jools Holland’s show helping her to reach a wider audience and boosting her support.

Her new single is released next month, by which time she’ll be well on the road with a tour supporting Paloma Faith, something which will get her musical message out to even more fans.

Her album takes the same name as next month’s single, Portrait. And it’s a decent album to get hold of, out now and worthy of a listen.

Portrait has several tracks which make you stop and listen, including A Freak A, What A Day and Pepper Shaker.

These are songs that you know you’ll like as soon as they start and have great, catchy chorus lines that ultimately leave them something of a folky anthem.

There are certainly songs here that have an air of gospel about them, but also those containing an element of pop and blues can be found on Portrait, a CD which at times lends itself to fans of Amy McDonald and on several instances left me wondering where on Earth to place it.

It’s interesting and makes a good listen, but I was left wondering if there was better to come from this talented new voice.

Half the songs on Portrait don’t seem to do her justice and fitted into clichés rather than creating new ground, leaving it something of a mixed album.

 

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