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Posted October 1, 2010
Half the Perfect CD
I find her voice to be both enchanting and limited. If you really enjoy her voice, this could easily be a four star release. When she is in her element, vocally speaking, she has a fabulous instrument. I could listen to her sing the phone book. However, for my taste she has chosen a limited musical landscape in which to play. I much prefer her voice on songs that suit her style and limited range. "Dont Wait Too Long", a popular song from her last cd, suits her very well. It exhibits her voice and her stylist tendencies nicely indeed. Terrific stuff. On her new cd, many of the songs do not permit such an exhibit. I found her stylistic decisions on many of the songs to be uneven compromises between her vocal strengths and a desire to invigorate these sometimes familiar tunes. I once supposed her major stylistic crisis would be deciding whether to sing like Billie Holiday all of the time, now I see it is whether she can sing a broad range of songs at the same high level she achieves when at her best. A few of the song choices are puzzling: Joni Mitchell's "River" is a dark and narrowly personal lament by that songwriter, and has a plodding character that few singers can--or would choose to--inhabit artistically. Hmmm. Perhaps this is Half the Perfect CD. Rethink the arrangement of a few songs--and the inclusion of a couple--and her sweet voice and musicality could make this a fine release.
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