This is the fifth release from an experienced singer/songwriter who has been recording since 1998. The eleven songs are beautifully arranged with strong melody lines and insightful lyrics. What Love Looks is a particularly interesting look at relationships from the view of an outsider who wonders about the look of love.
The Songs, First Sin and Into Graves, were inspired by a Holocaust novel by writer Jenna Blum, titled “Those Who Save Us”. Both are intimate, mature and thoughtful vignettes, illuminated by sensitive playing. The blend of instruments moves from Cello, Mandolin, Piano and Accordion supported by Upright Bass and assorted guitars, to place the listener on a journey that reveals many hidden delights along the way.
The title track is an arresting insight into a relationship that hints of both compulsion and obsession beyond the superficial surface. Open speaks of “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you grow” and is a well observed song to perhaps a younger, inexperienced person of what life can hold in store.
The song, Before I was a Girl, reminds me of the Dar Williams ‘When I Was a Boy’ classic, but is no less poorer for highlighting all that can be lost in growing up in the world and losing the innocence of youth.
Save Me is a confessional song to close the CD and hints of a fear of being lost and in need of somebody to save her from the darkness where truth has no sound.
Lisa Richards sings of the person who is “looking for a tragedy to define you” and in listening to these finely crafted songs and words; I think that the tragedy lies in the fact that this artist is not more widely recognised. Lisa recently returned to live in Australia, her country of birth, having lived in America for more than twenty years. I am sure that this has been a personal decision for family reasons and the possibility of her touring in Ireland is somewhat remote. However, Lisa Richards would be a very welcome visitor to these shores. I cannot recommend this release highly enough.