Thankfully my failing eyesight caused me to overlook the details of the sticker on the CD case – “as seen on The Voice”; had I fully digested that bit of information, my natural aversion to mainstream promotions would most likely have caused me to replace the album on the rack and move on to investigate other offerings. As it was I ended up purchasing Bo Bruce’s album ‘Before I Sleep’ an was extremely impressed as I listened to it as I drove back to Scotland following a trip to London. What little I know about ‘The Voice’ suggests that this TV talent show does seek to prioritise vocal skills over appearance – and Bo’s voice is most definitely a thing of wonder. I’m not a vocal expert, but suspect that one of the things that makes her voice so intriguing is when she applies glissando to individual words.

Whilst making progress, Bo was not the eventual winner. Previously, it has seemed that runners up in such TV talent shows can often have at least as much, if not more, commercial success as the actual winners. I strongly suspect that Bo Bruce will be a name that will crop up quite frequently in months and years ahead. She can already add a notch to her microphone for a successful collaboration with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol which features in the soundtrack of the latest Star Trek movie ‘Into Darkness’.

The fourteen tracks that make up this album provide a great showcase for both her vocal talents and her songwriting expertise. The variety ranges from wispy and predominantly acoustic, to anthemic ballads, all of which provide ample opportunity for her to exercise the full breadth of her vocal range. I used to view TV talent shows as being entirely focussed on developing ‘throwaway’ popular music with mass appeal; if they help to give artists like Bo a chance to bring their particular talents to a wider audience I will have to re-consider my attitude towards them.

1/ Landslide

2/ Save Me

3/ Alive

4/ Speed The Fire

5/ Telescope

6/ Ghost Town

7/ On The Wire

8/ Holding The Light

9/ Lightkeeper

10/ The Fall

11/ The Hands I Hold

12/ Echoes

13/ Golden

14/ How We’re Made


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