Sixth posthumous release for Songbird star

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Eva Cassidy – American Tune

It’s impossible to begrudge Cassidy’s vast success, long after her 1996 death from cancer (for a while in 2001, she was the most popular artist in the world). But these rehearsal tapes of standards, from “God Bless The Child” to “Yesterday”, confirm my first impression on hearing Songbird: that Cassidy was a strong, natural singer, but no more. It’s not her genius for interpretation but rather her tragic life, and nostalgia for a time when such good clubland voices were plentiful, that explain her success. And these cutting-floor scrapings do her memory no favours.