From the opening cover of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Darling, Be Home Soon” to originals like “Effortless” and the fierce rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” Allison’s vocal prowess and control is on astonishing display.
Among the album’s many standout tracks are “Phoenix,” “These Words” and “Skeletons & Spirits.” These “stripped down” versions are even more powerful and clear than their This Little Bird counterparts.
Allison’s supernaturally agile and exquisite voice is especially stunning, even shocking, as she bends and stretches every note in the haunting, truly chill-producing ballad “Silence.”
The music seems to rise from deep with her chest, sometimes ripping out of her throat in full roar, other times being restrained and shaped with the skill of a master sculptor. Sylvan Hour is truly a masterpiece.