The best female voice on the planet issues a brilliant live performance of her comeback album.
By Brian Miller, Editor
The best female voice on the planet? – yes, simply put, there are no contenders who come even close to the perfection and emotional depth of Alison Moyet’s bluesy contralto. With a classical approach to pop music, with a dynamic range simply not open even to the best of today’s younger pop singers (Adele, Jessie J, Anna Calvi, Kat Edmonson), and a musical intelligence that is simply staggering, it is almost heartbreaking that Alison Moyet is almost unknown on this side of the pond. Think the female equivalent of David Bowie and his penchant for exploration of musical drama within a pop framework. Think Adele growing up beyond her juvenile heartbreak and giving up on her emotional histrionics. Alison Moyet is a true vocal artist, one whose craftsmanship and subtlety are more appreciated with every audition.
Moyet has been active in music since 1978 (she is 53 at time of this writing). Growing up in England, at the age of 21 she formed the synthpop duo Yazoo with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke. They had a few hits, then disbanded, whereupon she embarked on a solo career. She has steadfastly refused to cater to the pop mainstream. Where has Alison Moyet been? – well, she suffered from depression for some time as well as bipolar disorder and agoraphobia. Then in 2013 she released a momentous comeback record entitled The Minutes, claiming she had finally found her melodic voice. Within that record was probably one of the best singles to come out in 2013, a brilliant song entitled “When I Was Your Girl”. The album went to No. 5 in the UK. The subsequent Minutes tour was a big success, as Alison seems immune to performance anxiety. The result is a great new album taken from the tour.
Alison took ‘the minutes’ tour through Europe, the USA and South Africa, selling over 55,000 tickets and culminating in a rapturous show at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Alison was joined on stage by MD John Garden (keys, guitars and programming) and Sean McGhee (backing vocals, synthesiser, guitar and programming).
“Having worked live for an age with a traditional band line-up I decided to return to my recording roots and an electronic pallet. This rapprochement begins with my 2013 album ‘the minutes’, a body of work I wrote together with its producer Guy Sigsworth, resulting in a collection of material that is entirely pleasing for me to perform live. As the catalyst for ‘the minutes’ tour, it enabled me to revisit some of my earlier work, either in the context it was originally intended, or with a new ear. Instead, reworking organic songs into a programmed format rather than the other way around and sparing me the niggling suspicion that I was in danger of inhabiting my own tribute act – which is a relevant consideration when you have been singing some of the songs for 30 something years, and wish still to be engaged.”
Marvellous songs, strong singing, memorable orchestration: what’s not to love about this record?
Come to North America, Alison. Here’s one fan who would gladly pay a pretty penny to see you in performance. And I’d scheme and connive to get everyone I know with any serious interest in great music to attend.
Note: Alison Moyet is touring solo through Europe in November and then as Very Special Guest with Culture Club on their arena tour in the UK in December. Click here for dates and tickets.