Brigid Boden

The multi-faceted Brigid Boden made a critical splash with her self-titled mid-'90s debut and then she simply vanished from the music scene. Having grown up in a musical family in Dublin, Ireland, she moved to America to study dance in Harlem, and finally returned to the U.K. to focus on her music in London. Boden developed broad artistic sensibilities that came to fruition when the songstress released her only recording in 1996 for the now-defunct A&M imprint. The eponymous debut sparkled with Boden's ethereal voice and poetic lyrics spread nicely over the sonic bedding of world-famous producer Kevin Armstrong (David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Paul McCartney). The record featured guest appearances from a wide-ranging group of world musicians who nicely complemented Boden and Armstrong's genre-busting combination of electronica, Celtic folk, trip-hop, and other styles. The single "Oh How I Cry" managed to create a minor radio and danceclub buzz, but enough attention wasn't generated for Boden to survive her label's eventual dissolution. Certainly there had to be other companies interested in the artist's wares, but years after the release of Brigid Boden, nothing has been heard from the singer. Perhaps she was trapped in legal and business wranglings, or perhaps she returned to her first manner of artistic expression and decided to dance professionally. Whatever the reason, it's unfortunate that this promising musician never had the opportunity or desire to fulfill her more than modest potential. While listeners might find her debut slightly bland, there exists a depth to her lyrics and songwriting that is easily unearthed with just a little digging. Boden is in no way important or influential, but of the scores of forgotten '90s female solo artists, she at least tried to make her own way through the alternative rock/dance soundscape (her music never sounds trite or forced like the many post-Morissette/Love waifish pouters). None of this proved to be enough to keep the singer's career energized during the new metal and hip-hop of the late '90s that saw the dance music universe spinning out deeper into its own sub-cultural movement -- further separating itself from rock and pop, and leaving artists like Boden in a sort of world beat purgatory. Fashion is ever-shifting and enormously unpredictable, so fans can still take heart while listening to the gently eclectic dance-pop of Brigid Boden and hope for the singer's eventual re-emergence. ~ Vincent Jeffries

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