Over the course of nine studio albums, two live albums and countless
concert performances in the past twenty-five years, Galway-born
torch singer Mary Coughlan has established herself as one of her
native land's most enduring and remarkable vocal talents. From her
break through success on 1985's 'Tired And Emotional' to her internationally
acclaimed 'After The Fall' (1997); and onwards to her faithful and
poetic rendering of the songs of Billie Holiday in 2000. She has
cast her meditative eye over songs of joy, sadness, mischief and
melancholy; and has delivered each one with a voice that effortlessly
straddles jazz, blues, chanson and pop in equal, sublime measure.
She embarks on the next phase of her career with an extraordinary
new album. Entitled 'The House of Ill Repute' - its thirteen songs
represent the end of a thirteen year relationship in Mary's life.
The album re-unites her with Dutch producer ErikVisser, whose previous
work with Mary has inspired them both to career best performances
on the aforementioned 'Tired And Emotional' and 'After The Fall'
albums. Seldom has there been a better matched maestro and muse;
as the immaculate song selection, sympathetic arrangements and matchless
performances on this record reflect.
The first single in Ireland is the late Kirsty MacColl's wry discourse
on misadventure 'Bad', an early highlight of an album that runs
the gamut of emotions like a long night of Reeperbahn madness. Flirtatious
on 'Love Is Extra', salacious on 'Pornography', outrageous on 'Tootsies';
Madame Coughlan knows the intimate details of all the visitors to
The House of Ill Repute. And in the cold light of the morning, we
find them adrift on the emotional tundra of 'Antarctica' or clinging
to the barren (Celtic) rock of 'The Whore Of Babylon'.
It's often said that an artist's best work is made under the most
trying of personal circumstances. With the release of 'The House
of Ill Repute'; Mary Coughlan emerges from the catharsis of record
making, waking up to a new day; confident in the knowledge that
she has produced an album which will stand up as one of the very
best of her stellar career to date.