Beautifully sung, but too poppy for hardcore folkies

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Cara Dillon – Sweet Liberty

Following her surprisingly well-received eponymous debut from 2002, Cara Dillon repeats the formula, mixing traditional songs and her own collaborations with producer/pianist Seth Lakeman. Dillon has a wonderfully pure voice, but it lacks the depth and maturity to rise above the more elaborate arrangements and flirtations with modernity. She’s seemingly more at ease on the traditional material, her voice confidently filling in the shadowy instrumental spaces, notably on “The Winding River Roe”, a desperate lament, or daring to emulate Anne Briggs on the Sweeney’s Men classic “Standing On The Shore”. Cast adrift from her roots, though, she veers unconvincingly between Kate Bush and Dolly Parton?far less entrancing.