JULIET TURNER: People Have Names
(Hear This) 4 Stars ****
You‚Äôd be hard pushed to find a flaw in Juliet Turner‚Äôs musical armoury.
The Omagh-born songstress has usually delivered in both recording studio and stage. She‚Äôs a natural at encapsulating a marriage between folk and the singer-songwriter genre. “Season of the Hurricane” from 2004 was an excellent body of work ‚Äî but since then she‚Äôs swapped the studio for the lecture hall and gone back to Trinity College Dublin to do a four-year degree in speech and language therapy.
Fast forward to 2008 and Turner has just made the album of her life.
People Have Names is a quite stunning collection of material ‚Äî gorgeously presented by simple, sumptuous arrangements that are underpinned by Turner‚Äôs delicate vocal chords. The single Trickster is among the many highlights, but the two outstanding tracks are High Hopes and the opener Invisible to the Eye.
HotPress Music Magazine ****
Irish Maverick is Album of the Year Contender.
Whereas many of her contemporaries have lost momentum, their best work behind them, Juliet Turner’s fourth studio album is an intoxicating example of an adventurous artist moving forward, discovering fresh topics, literate themes and intriguing sounds with which to tease her artistic muse. “Invisible to the Eye” is a striking song with Turner’s voice at its most sublime. The Cohenish “High Hopes” looks at the vicissitudes of love, “Elder of the Tribe” focuses on contrasting generational differences, while the unsettling, country-tinged “Tuesday Night Ladies” – boasting a particularly exquisite vocal from Turner – is a graphic depiction of modern lives lived with no direction home. Despite the slow tempo, “Joy” is uplifting and brash, with a self-confident sweet swagger, but “Trickster” is the real gem, a deceptively catchy tune with the refrain “What do you mean you don’t like shopping? What do you mean you don’t watch TV?”.
Keith Lawless’s production, drizzled with warm strings and splashes of accordian and brass, brings a seductive and uncluttered feel to a bunch of songs that Turner seems to have been tenderly nurturing for a while. “People Have Names” is about as faultless as it gets and is a serious contender for album of the year. (Jackie Hayden)
Sunday 22 June: Sunday Life – JULIET TURNER – People Have Names (Hear This!):
Turner has quietly evolved into one of our best singer/songwriters, and this fourth album, with a rich production and an increasingly sophisticated musical palette, may just be her best yet. Its songs are personal snapshots that reflect on the hard, bitter truths of life and are suffused with an air of sadness and regret that chime perfectly with the melancholy edge to Turner‚Äôs voice.
Irish Times four stars. ****.
‚ÄúJust as Juliet Turner‚Äôs palate for life‚Äôs sweet and salty moments has evolved, so her palette of sound has rumbled onwards as well, and her appreciation for life‚Äôs minor chords has grown. The title track (left to the end of the album, where it can seep into the subconscious) is a thought provoking meditation on life‚Äôs defining qualities: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the work of a life time to love and be loved in return, to love to the end‚Äù. Lyrically, Turner‚Äôs attention turns to the big and small ticket stories; loneliness (Tuesday Night Ladies), romance (High Hopes) and the contradictions of youth and age (The Elder of the Tribe). Arrangements are spacious and unforced, with suitably tinted brass and strings, and Turner‚Äôs wisdom in letting her cds percolate for olympian periods is palpable on this gloriously taut collection‚Äù. (Sinead Long)