Twentythree

Twentythree

5.0 4
by Tristan Prettyman
     
 

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The latest wave of laid-back, Cali-bred coffeehouse folk-mongers has long been lacking a feminine touch -- a flaw that's corrected with flair on this San Diegan's major-label bow. Like kindred spirit Jack Johnson, Prettyman began her public life as a competitive surfer, a mellow-yet-physical pursuit that brings its vibe to her sly,See more details below

Overview

The latest wave of laid-back, Cali-bred coffeehouse folk-mongers has long been lacking a feminine touch -- a flaw that's corrected with flair on this San Diegan's major-label bow. Like kindred spirit Jack Johnson, Prettyman began her public life as a competitive surfer, a mellow-yet-physical pursuit that brings its vibe to her sly, languid melodies. Despite her tender age -- check the album's title -- Prettyman doesn't come across as particularly wide-eyed or naïve. Sure, songs like the undulating "Love Love Love" show that she views the world through the positive end of the emotional prism, but there are no rose-colored glasses perched on the edge of her nose. Her complexity is echoed in her vocal tone, which eschews the little-girl-lost plaint so often favored by this generation's female folkies in favor of a subtly throaty purr that conveys a potent sensuality -- particularly on the slinky, syncopated "Shy That Way," a duet with San Diego homeboy Jason Mraz, and the beckoning "Simple as It Should Be." Prettyman credits Ani DiFranco with helping her decide to pick up a guitar in the first place, and that forebear's influence shines through here and there -- most noticeably on the cutting "Song of the Rich." But for a performer with a comparatively short time in the trenches, Tristan Prettyman has developed a voice -- in all senses of that word -- that's very much her own, definitely indicative that she'll be worth following as she passes through the rest of those 20s -- and beyond.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Tristan Prettyman hails from the same San Diego singer/songwriter scene that bred Jason Mraz, but her songs aren't as winking or orchestrated -- they usually just rely on her tasteful, slightly flirty lilt out front and an acoustic guitar. In fact, Twentythree is almost purely acoustic, which makes its gentle folk-pop sound more genuine. Mraz duets with Prettyman on "Shy That Way," and they share a sideman in the talented Michael Andrews. "Love Love Love" also has a bit of that loopy unplugged funk that drives most of Jack Johnson's work, so it's pretty clear where Virgin has slotted the album. But it's never overproduced -- "Always Feel This Way" even sounds like it was recorded live, maybe back in one of those San Diego coffeehouses. The song's also a great example of how Prettyman assumes the phrasing of Ani DiFranco without being too earnest about it. Twentythree's quietest moments might be its most rewarding. "Electric" glimmers like the aqua Pacific sky over windy pedal steel, while "Simple as It Should Be," is just her, some brushed percussion, and warm acoustic strumming. G. Love's harmonica adds color, but it's really about the way Prettyman's voice nearly cracks on all the high notes. Tristan Prettyman gives you the key to her album in its title. Twentythree isn't jazzily sophisticated beyond her years, or juiced with ear-popping hooks for radio. It's the work of a woman with some stories to tell -- about love, about life's left turns, about remembering to breathe -- before you finish your drink and head out into the world.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/02/2005
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724356360228
catalogNumber:
63602
Rank:
92458

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tristan Prettyman   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Michael Andrews   Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Ukulele,Lap Steel Guitar
Leon Mobley   Percussion
Lyle Workman   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Mandocello
Jesse Harris   Acoustic Guitar
Nir Z.   Drums
Jason Mraz   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Matt Johnson   Drums
Joshua Grange   Acoustic Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
Lee Alexander   Bass

Technical Credits

Ted Jensen   Mastering
Josh Deutsch   Producer
Michael Halsband   Portrait Photography
Chad Bamford   Engineer
Vaughan Merrick   Engineer
Bryan Cook   Engineer
Jason Mraz   Composer
Tristan Prettyman   Composer

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