Music: Cerys Is Simply COCKAHOOP to Be Moving in a Different Direction
Since she spilt with Catatonia, the music world has waited with bated breath to see what former wild child Cerys Matthews would do next. With the release of her first solo album, Cock-A-Hoop, just weeks away, Karen Price gave advance copies of her album to the experts and asked them if the rock chick can still cut it with her new softer sound
THE RADIO ONE DJ - Bethan Elfyn``From the few recent appearances we have seen of Cerys, such as her performance at the Hay Festival and on the Max Boyce TV show with Elinor Bennett, this is the kind of direction we were all expecting so it is not a shock. Unlike Catatonia, she won't get mainstream radio play as there are no pop anthems. She has gone to the complete extreme - from a wild child to a folk personality living a pure and simple life. She says this is the most honest album she's ever written and she's always had an interest in folk songs and particularly Welsh folk songs. It's lovely when someone gets to a point in their career when they can explore their true emotions. She is now working with traditional instruments and I am sure her fans and people in Wales will love what she's done. She retains the heart of her character - there is not a complete change of personality.
Her singing is still raw although she has definitely grown up a little bit and delved into her more traditional roots.
The Welsh hymn is lovely but because it's a hymn the music stations won't be play-listing it and it won't be a single release but I am sure it will help her wider audience in America rediscover something about the Welsh culture.
I think she's moving towards an older market now, mainly a Radio 2 kind of audience, but she will no doubt also appeal to people who grew up with Catatonia.
Cerys is still a person who holds fascination with people of all ages.
I think she has enough of a fan base for the album to make a mark but I don't think it will be a number one or even make it into the top 10 unless the press frenzy around the time of its release really picks up. It will depend on who she works with as to whether she will make more pop anthems again or whether she sticks with this new direction, which looks to be most likely now.''
# Bethan Elfyn, presenter of Radio 1's evening session in Wales.
THE RECORD COMPANY EXEC - Dafydd Iwan``Cerys is an original personality and you cannot categorise her singing.
This album is typical of her and more to my liking than the Catatonia Cerys. Here she's telling a story. She likes various musical styles and she can carry them off. She's a natural folk singer.
The next album she does will probably be quite different again as she likes the idea of exploring different styles. She told me some years ago that she would love to do a whole album of Welsh folk songs one day so she has always had a hankering for doing something different. There's a touch of a lot of othersingers in this album but it's uniquely Cerys Matthews. The hymn is quite surprising but she carries it off.
I think the fervent Cerys Matthews fans will buy this album but she also has to find a new audience. It will sell well but whether it's a hit depends on how much promoting she can do as a solo artist. I have a feeling she will be a more laid back artist from now on and do her own thing.
She's a bit unique. She's got this fabulous voice which can be very, very tender and very rasping and she can also sing very gently.
Catatonia was essentially a very, very good band but it all hinged around Cerys. She could make it as a solo artist but it depends on how much she wants to get back into the limelight.
She's hell of a character and does not compare to anyone - she's an original.''# Dafydd Iwan, managing director of Sain Records.
THE BIOGRAPHER - David Owens``Cook-A-Hoop is an album that cares little for the hip references that Catatonia wore like a badge. …