Album cover artwork for Sweet Inspiration by Kate Ceberano“It’s coming from my heart and not my head…”

Kate Ceberano didn’t write those words, and she wasn’t the first to record I Honestly Love You. But that line could have been written for her, as she is such an instinctual singer – when Ceberano sings, nothing sounds forced or contrived.

Most covers albums are pointless, showing an artist out of ideas and playing it safe – a triumph of commercialism over creativity. But the occasional covers collection is something special, providing an insight into an artist’s influences as well as giving new meaning to classic songs. Sure, there are some big hits here, including When I Need You and I Will Always Love You, but there are also lesser-known gems such as Jimmy Webb’s If These Walls Could Speak and Paul Weller’s You Do Something To Me, plus two sparkling originals that sit comfortably alongside the classics.

These are soothing songs for the soul, and the perfect album for troubled times – “Everything has changed,” Ceberano notes in an exquisite take on Elbow’s Mirrorball. The record concludes with The Long And Winding Road, a neat summation of Ceberano’s genre-busting career. This is her 28th album (why isn’t she in the ARIA Hall of Fame?) and one of her best. Kate Ceberano is a peerless song interpreter.

Sweet Inspiration by Kate Ceberano is out February 5 via Sony.

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