Ah the debut album! That fascinating paradox of record making. A collection of tunes usually having been crafted and perfected over a number of years, having gone through numerous re-writes and improvements to make the strongest and most rehearsed band of songs but performed in a state of the least experience possible. Established songs by a voice finding its feet. There is no other way round it , and so here we have the latest leap of faith by Helene Greenwood with her debut album, Collectable You.
It’s an album of 11 quietly crafted singer/songwriter tunes which float from elegiac pop (Fools Rush In) to driving piano rock (Great Fountain) all wrapped around Greenwood’s soft spoken vocal soarings.
There’s nothing especially memorable about Collectable You, and isn’t quiet as collectable as the title would have you believe. The tunes are nice, gentle and easy to listen to but nothing that breaks the mould. That may seem a little unfair, considering that it isn’t a bad album, and Greenwood’s a songwriter still finding her way, but I don’t feel like I would miss this album if it wasn’t there.
The best songs on the record are the graceful Timeline and The Shore and Spindrift Road featuring swirling stabs of ‘70s Hammond organ in a majestic séance of atmospheric funk ‘n’ soul.
Collectable You is not a bad record, and does display plenty of promise for what Helene Greenwood is capable of. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough memorable tunes to match her gentle voice and piano progressions. She may well become one of those underground artists who have a small but dedicated following, and that kind of audience would match her music well. Promising but not quite there yet…