French, Sally - The Other Side

Year of Release: 1994
Label: SI
Catalog Number: SIMPly thirtynine
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:54:00

SI was proud to announce their new signing Sally French whom they described as a cross between Kate Bush and Dead Can Dance. As someone to whom Sally French was totally unknown, I thought good old Willebrord Elsing [SI's "big" boss - JB] was boasting like never before. However I must admit the man is completely right, for the timbre in Sally's voice is a mixture of all the great female singers. There's Bush, even a touch of Annie Haslam in the higher regions and Siouxie in the lower regions, like in "Inside The Tower," plus a folky touch of Maire Brennan (Clannad).

Opener "Beyond The Sky" is surely the highlight of the album. It has a certain illogical hook set in the song that could well give her the much needed airplay. If you go back in time and listen to songs like Cockney Rebel's "Sebastian" or even Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" you know what I mean. These songs weren't "real" singles either, but once they were aired it kept on sticking in peoples' minds. Well this one is for me. In fact I'm sort of haunted by it! In the thanks column one notices the name of ex-BJH [Barclay James Harvest -ed.] keyboard-man Woolly Wolstenholme. Because the liner notes don't say who's responsible for the compositions, I feel very strongly that "My Time Has Come" could well be from his hand, as it has all the ingredients that have also cropped up on his own Songs From The Black Box CD. There's obviously a lot of mellotron on this album that extra underlines the symphonic approach set in Sally's music.

There's also a lot of drama in some of the songs. "The Last Time" comes very close to the greatness that is often to be found in opera. Closing track "The Key" is a cross between Kate Bush and Tracy Hitchings, backed by a great sounding string arrangement that lifts this song into the highest musical regions. She ain't Sally Oldfield, but she's only one commercial offering away from total recognition.

Beyond The Sky (4:36) / Inside The Tower (7:29) / Ophelia (5:14) / My Time Has Come (4:11) / Lifting The Veil (5:16) / Golden Leaves (4:15) / The Last Time (7:34) / The Key (5:19)

Sally French - vocals
David Etheridge - keyboards, programming, orchestal harp, Mellotron
Clive Osborne - guitars
Alan 'Sticky' Wickett - drums, percussion

The Other Side

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 22nd 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1214
Language: english


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