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Chris Connor: Haunted Heart

It has taken nearly half a century, but Chris Connor finally seems to be losing her cool. The problem, though, is as much one of expectation as it is execution. By most standards, Haunted Heart would be judged a decent effort. But history demands that Connor be judged by standards much higher than most. With the breathtaking minimalism of those early Bethlehem recordings, the effervescence of her Atlantic years, that intriguing (and frustratingly obscure) pair of FM albums and such notable later achievements as Love Being Here With You and New Again, Connor has set her own bar impossibly high.

Richard Rodney Bennett once aptly described Connor as “a brilliant tightrope walker…in constant danger of losing [her] balance.” Haunted Heart chronicles that inevitable tumble. All those years of hard work and hardship have taken their toll. That soaring, skillfully controlled voice is now a raspy shadow of its former, stirring self.

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