This posthumous anthology is the perfect introduction to the astonishing vocal talents of Eva Cassidy, a young, relatively unknown singer who died of cancer at 33, just as her career was beginning to gain steam. Cassidy, a native of Washington D.C., gained local favor with her pure, straightforward tone and her lovely, tasteful interpretations of everything from standards to gospel to contemporary pop.
SONGBIRD is a definitive best-of selection that picks from Cassidy's studio albums and shows the depth and breadth of her skills. SONGBIRD's perfection as a compilation is in its song choice, which covers Cassidy's takes on gospel ("Oh, Had I A Golden Thread"), soul (Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready"), pop (Sting's "Fields of Gold"), and well-known standards ("Over the Rainbow"). Cassidy's own perfection stems from her ability to bring the same precise, inventive phrasing and crystalline tone to each individual song, regardless of genre, making it indelibly her own. This collection became a best-selling number-one album in the U.K., and with good reason.
Rolling Stone (8/30/01, p.125) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...She effortlessly shuffles styles and the song selections are astute...Cassidy comes across as a bluesier version of English folk singer Sandy Denny....she melts her personality into the fabric of each melody..."
Q (3/99, p.93) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "Eva Cassidy had the power to leave the nerve-centre tingling. She possessed a rare emotional honesty and a knockout voice (closest relation: Roberta Flack) and applied them to whatever material took her fancy..."