Peacetime is a very calm experience where the songs are given room to breathe.
Sue Keogh 2007
Those whose only awareness of Eddi Reader is of some tall skinny bird in big glasses and a brown mac dancing round on Top Of The Pops to Fairground Attraction’s 1988 hit, “Perfect”, won’t have realised that she’s been quite happily chugging away as a vocalist and singer-songwriter on the folk scene for the last couple of decades.
But those who are in the know, and who delighted in solo albums such as 2003’s beautiful Sings The Songs Of Robbie Burns, won’t be surprised at the inclusion of the poet’s “Ye Banks And Braes O’Bonnie Doon”, the drowsy “Aye Waukin-O”, “Leezie Lindsay” and the distinctly Scottish folky flavour throughout Peacetime, her eighth solo studio album.
Warmly produced by young folk stalwart John McCusker, who, with Reader’s long-time collaborator Boo Hewerdine, helps arrange most of the traditional songs here, Peacetime is a very calm experience where the songs are given room to breathe.
Stand out tracks include the uplifting plea for peace that forms the title track, the more poppy “Prisons”, which out points sails dangerously close to turning into an acoustic version of The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” and “The Shepherd’s Song”, with its cockle-warming brass quintet.
The songs may have their roots in the late 18th century, but references to Google, YouTube and the London bombings give the album a contemporary feel.