‘Portraits’ is the debut album from Hannah Rose Platt, the Liverpool born singer who now resides in London. The album was recorded in Nashville and was supported by a team of talented country artists with experience working alongside such country music luminaries as Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, although listening to the album you’d be forgiven for thinking that the entire production consisted of just one lady and a guitar. The title ‘Portraits’ is perfect, each of the twelve songs a mini work of art, Hannah Rose Platt’s wonderful and captivating voice acting as a series of brush strokes which combine to reveal each finished picture.
The album begins with ‘Little Screws’, a song which paints the tale of a woman wondering how her life became one of monotony working on the factory floor, the words revealing the heartbreaking tale of her life and the wondering of how it could have all been so different. As an opening track it is perfect, entrancing from the opening line and leaving you wanting more.
Throughout the album there are tales of heartache, faded dreams, longing and sadness, each of the songs delivered with such a beauty that you feel you are living alongside the central players and willing them on, many of the characters displaying great hope and resilience despite the trials of their life.
‘Dancer’ is a tale of a waitress who dreams of dancing on the stage again, the song crafted to reveal her work as a dance, the movement from table to table her performance, the ringing of the tills at the end of the day her imaginary round of applause.
‘Birthday’ is another beautifully crafted song which expresses the regret of the mother of a 10 year old who lives behind prison walls. ‘The Doll and the Soldier’ is a metaphorical telling of the hopes of rekindling a past relationship, while Hannah’s cover of ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ gives the song something of a haunting quality and is simply outstanding.
‘Daughter’ is a very personal song to Hannah, describing her relationship with her step father, the song a real tribute and one of the rare truly autobiographical moments on the album.
To say there is a highlight song really doesn’t do justice to the album as a whole, however ‘1954’ is a stunning track that would grace any album. The somg tells the tale of an elderly lady with Alzheimer’s who has regressed back to a time when she was younger, waiting excitedly for her handsome young date to appear, wondering why he is late. As the song starts, you are placed in the mind of the teenage girl, but you soon realise the bigger picture and the song grabs you like no other. 1954 is a tale of both excitable young love and one of a deep, long term devoted love, glimpses in the song of the heartbreak of her husband, while disjointed memories of a long, happy marriage together add confusion to the mind of the central lady.
‘Portraits’ is an album which grabs you from the start and simply will not let go, the assured, captivating delivery by Hannah Rose Platt making you wonder if this really is a debut album. Featuring wonderfully woven tales of heartache, longing and regret, ‘Portraits’ is a timeless masterpiece.