Sally Doherty and the Sumacs - On the outside - 2000


Piano, cello, violin, clarinet, tablas, guitar, double bass, percussion, rainstick, oboe, tambourine, djembe, wind chimes and mainly VOICE are the main ingredients of "On the outside", Sally Doherty's last work, an English artist that sings, composes, produces and collaborates in different projects like "Sol Invictus", "Sieben", "L´Orchestre Noir" or "Shock Headed Peters".


In "On the outside" Sally presents us a collection of intimist and personal pieces exquisitely orchestrated and with a flavor worthy of being savoured in the strictest intimacy, tasting each note as if it was a sip of good wine (Spanish, of course).

Sally dares to show her personal style in songs of very different conception, sometimes diving into other styles. In this way, we are surprised by the use of Latin percussion's in "Bolero", a beautiful personal adaptation of the poem "Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías" of our Federico García Lorca; the approach to ethnic oriental textures of the beautiful "Balance" or "One voice", giving the rainstick a tremendous atmosphere to this last piece; or certain soul shades in the vocal melody of "Gold" or "Even when you´re laughing". Everything, of course, with the classic musical background that Sally imprints her compositions with and with some harrowing atmospheres, beautiful, magnificent.

But besides this, we also have classicism and lyricism in the naked, cold and melancholic beauty of "This is what she said", "On the outside", "Our senses" or "I understand you" (this piece makes me shiver), wrapped up in languid violins and ethereal pianos; the fragile and hymnal "Some never know"; the delicate "Silver"; the movielike "Summer´s end" and "The wicker man" (this is an adaptation of the piece of Paul Giovanni for the film "The wicker man"). In this case comparisons are hateful, but if Sally had put music and or voice to "Gladiator" I believe that Lisa Gerrard would lose the battle.


Sally Doherty and her Sumacs (Lizz Lipscombe, Emma Smith, Liz Hanks and Karen Burland) give us 16 small jewels of feeling and emotion; 16 gems of careless detail and infinite shades. 16 reasons to love music. Sincerely I recommend you this album, tape it and conserve the original inside a glass urn with a sign that puts "Handle with care", and so when you arrive home after an exhausting workday you can enjoy your time while you listen this jewel.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - February 2001 -   - Tiger Records