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Anna Coogan – The Wasted Ocean

november 8th, 2011 at 22:58

Masterpiece.

Anna Coogan’s solo debut The nocturnal among us made an impression and so the American singer-songwriter already toured the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany, despite the fact that the record was self-released. On the basis of these ten songs on this second cd she can surely come over to tour again and again, because they convincingly confirm her talent as a songwriter and singer from the first chords.

Coogan got inspired by the LPs with old sailors’ songs that she played again in her parents’ cellar, curious for what she had forgotten in the meantime.

Just like in the case of her debut she wrote her eight songs in a state of exhaustion: last time it was insomnia, this time a jet lag after a year of touring.

The sea was the theme, but her impressionistic lyrics became metaphors for longing, love, missing and death. She found two kindred songs with Phil and June Colclough and Phil Ochs and welded the ten songs into a melancholic song cycle.

It is even more anguished than her debut, because all songs are ballads except for Hold On Steady, Hold On Tight. Still that mid-tempo song also radiates the melancholy of the other ones. That is also because of Coogan’s singing. The ex-opera student and graduated biologist combines understatement with emotion, whether she sings low in a veiled and expressive way or high in a fragile and atmospheric way.

That is why The Wasted Ocean not only has an enormous unity thematically, but also musically. That does not leave you when the last song is over.

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