Best Albums of the 00s: Songs of Love & Death

Songs of Love and Death - Emm Gryner (2005)

The first entry by a female singer on this chronological overview of my favourite albums from the last ten years is the second Canadian album on my list. Songs of Love and Death (2005) is Emm Gryner’s eight album and it was her second full album of cover versions. Her earlier effort, Girl Versions (2001), featured her interpretations of hard rock songs, while this one features eleven versions of songs originally recorded by Irish acts. So, I guess that makes this the second Irish album on my list as well. I first heard the album when a promo cd turned up at Wired FM, the college radio station where I foisted my musical tastes onto listeners for a number of years. I was certainly intrigued by the idea of this Canadian woman who I’d never heard of singing her versions of songs with which I was more or less familiar

After a few listens I really started to like her takes on Forget Georgia, Running Back, Shining Light, Nothing Rhymed and Nowhere. The piano backing and occasional hushed vocals recall a certain Tori Amos, but I think that her version of Ash’s Shining Light makes it sound like a hymn and she even tackles a Horslips tune with aplomb. And, even though there are songs on it by The Corrs and The Thrills, I came to like the whole album and have played it quite a bit over the last few years. At least she had the decency not to include a track by U2. The reason that she didn’t pick such obvious choices to cover was that she has family in Ireland and spent holidays in the Green Isle. She heard songs on the radio and bought albums by acts that were relatively unknown in North America. If you haven’t heard it the album is worth checking out. Here are the original versions of some of the songs from the album:


Nowhere – Therapy

Julie Ocean – The Undertones

Shining Light – Ash

Running Back – Thin Lizzy

Forget Georgia – Something Happens

Nothing Rhymed – Gilbert O’Sullivan

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4 thoughts on “Best Albums of the 00s: Songs of Love & Death

  1. Pingback: Irish Blood, English Charts « Town Full of Losers

  2. Pingback: Ash Wednesday « Town Full of Losers

    • Thanks very much! The new layout is just for Christmas, though I might try a new one when the tree comes down. I’ve been enjoying your Christmas posts over the last few weeks. Nollaig shona dhuit

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