Vivienne Neville as reveiwed in Phantom TollboothCalming and Celtic-inspired, this disc loses momentum at the end

Label: Plankton Records
Time: 10 Tracks / 42 minutes

Vivienne Neville’s first full-length collection has a lot going for it. Neville has a BA in Music and began studying for an MA in Electro-Acoustic Music; she has Paul Poulton playing on the disc, as well as Iona’s pipes man Martin Nolan; and two members of YFriday guested and produced it.

It starts well, too, with the layers of “A Celtic Saint’s Prayer” reflecting the title and her beautiful harmonies on the title track having more than a little of Michelle Tumes’ early atmospheric sound.

As the collection continues, Neville walks a narrow field that borders mystery on one side, but dullness on the other. So “Veiled in Mystery” is a memorable, restful piece and “Holy One” has a slightly trippy rhythm, but her version of “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” adds nothing to the hymn and actually sucks away some of the dynamic of the tune for which it is best known.

She has attempted a calming album and created a set of mid-tempo tracks, but the cumulative effect of the lack of pace means that the release starts to drag halfway through.

Given the early promise of this collection, it is a shame that this is not a five- or six-track EP, which would have been a lot stronger. Those interested in sampling the best of her work can go to


Derek Walker