THREE years ago, Juliet Turner declared that for her next album she wanted ‚Äúto be as literate and lyrical as I can, to make sure I enjoy the writing process‚Äù. The result of this can be heard on her fourth studio album, People Have Names, which was released recently.
Perhaps eschewing the more egotistical elements of the music business, there are no pictures of the Irish singer and songwriter on the cover of her new album. And anonymity is a minor theme in the album‚Äôs lyrics ‚Äì the brilliant opening song, Invisible To The Eye, details the inner life of a character whose ‚Äúpossibilities lie open to the sky‚Äù. As an album opener, it‚Äôs classic Turner ‚Äì her fragile, breathy vocals matched with a strong melody and commanding lyrics.
Elsewhere, we get the usual ‚Äúlove as poisoned chalice‚Äù song in High Hopes, where questions are posed of romance. The lovers find each other disappointing but persist in an uncertain optimism.
Elder Of The Tribe is less complex, and a beautiful song, based on the life of a man in South Africa who has lived a full life and urges younger friends to ‚Äútake care of your lovely young life‚Äù.
The closing song, People Have Names, was written after a spell in the L‚Äôarche community in Northern Ireland, and is a celebratory song of the better aspects of human nature. Turner‚Äôs gift for insight into the strangeness of the human condition enables her to write brilliant songs, and this is another excellent album from one of the Western world‚Äôs most underrated and gifted songwriters.