Róisín O: The Secret Life of Blue (3U)

It's understandable that this promising young Irish vocalist's publicity downplays the fact that she is the daughter of the great singer Mary Black. However, Róisín O (born O'Reilly) has a rich, lovely instrument, and her full-length debut album is a radiant burst of modern energy. She is a talent to be reckoned with.

The album kicks off with "Here We Go," a deviously catchy and upbeat meld of folk and modern rock. Moving on, listeners won't be disappointed. The mellow introspective "Synchronicity" builds to a swelling, string-laden emotional peak that wouldn't feel out of place on an album by Florence and the Machine.

Elsewhere, O'Reilly reaches dizzying vocal heights that equal those of the Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan, challenges the conventions of traditional Celtic folk (not unlike maverick Eliza Carthy) and, on several tunes, channels the spirit of Kate Bush, especially the lush, haunting "Climb High" and spiritual love song "Filled With Snow."

A slightly gothic flavor (more Brontë than Bauhaus) imbues "Hold On" as it rises in intensity, while the jangling folk of "Let's Find Some People" sounds invitingly loose and informal. The amazing "You Owe Me a Drink" sounds heavily inspired by Joni Mitchell, mixing breezy guitar-strumming and electric piano filigrees with an alt-country, road-song bounce. On it, O'Reilly shows off her singing range with quasi-jazz-inflected vocals.

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