Esther O’Connor (3 stars)

The Place Where We Are

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Esther O’Connor

(OC Records)

POP

Esther O’Connor is something of a musical paradox; a singer-songwriter specialising in slick commercial soft rock that she proudly releases on her own DIY label. As the daughter of the guitarist from Wet Wet Wet, she has certainly picked up her father’s outfits penchant for sophisticated balladry but too often this record wanders into derivative MOR territory and fails to return. Yet her voice, especially on single ‘Nirvana Man’, is powerful enough to raise the bar above the likes of Sandi Thom and, as James Blunt’s 11 million record sales have shown, a lack of sharp ideas is certainly no barrier to success.

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