Gemma Hayes Night On My Side Review

Album. Released 27 May 2002.  

BBC Review

The Tipperary born singer is sexy, she has a superb sultry voice and on her debut...

Dan Tallis 2002

Gemma is Ireland's answer to Kylie Minogue. The Tipperary born singer is sexy, she has a superb sultry voice and on her debut album, Night On My Side, she's got some great pop songs. However, there is a lot more to this album than throwaway pop.

The album opens with the dreamy intro "Day One" that quickly enchants you with its soothing melody but before you know it you're given a wake up call with recent single "Hanging Around". Full of juicy guitar riffs and a great chorus its a cool n' catchy pop song.

And so, after the first two tracks, you're given a clear idea of what to expect for the rest of the album. There are the softly spoken acoustic guitar songs that can transfix you with their beauty, as with "Over and Over" and "Ran For Miles" and there are the indie rock songs like "Tear in my Side" that will force your head to nod, your legs to tap and your mouth to smile. There is, of course, the exception to the rule; "Whata Day" is guitar free. In their place are various cool electronic beats and synthesised vocals that echo around your head.

Listening to Night On My Side you can tell that Hayes hasn't quite decided what works and what doesn't; she's prepared to make mistakes and to take chances which, inevitably, results in a few misses. "I Wanna Stay", for example, meanders aimlessly leaving you cold.

But Hayes has something that Kylie's never had: superb song-writing skills. Her lyrics are intelligent and often unusual, as in "My God":

'My God, hope you're on call, because I may be in danger of crashing before I get to fall. Lets cry boy while the neighbours have their backs turned. I'm having trouble believing anything you say'.

All in all an excellent debut, full to the brim with potential for even greater things next time.

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