Review for Eryn Shewell’s new album... 2013

 

While it is true that I adore Eryn and wanted this CD to be great, I wasn’t prepared to be absolutely blown away by the joy, love and musicianship found on this album.  I rarely come across a CD that I want to listen to from start to finish over and over again.  It is also rare to come across an album that makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to another place.  I’ve often wondered what makes Eryn’s voice so transformative and wonderful.  I finally came up with the answer...  I believe her.  When she sings about longing and love, I long and love with her.  When she sings about heartbreak, my heart feels broken and when she sings about her love of New Orleans... I’m right there with her.  There is a playfulness and joy in her performances that is infectious.  The command she has of her voice is stunning, sometimes extremely delicate and at other times simply raising the roof.  While I know some feel a  need to compare her to other vocalists, I refuse to go down that road because I believe we have a true original here. Right from the opening tune “Fall” she establishes the theme of this collection... LOVE.  “Every day I walk through my endless garden planted with a million thoughts of you”...   She follows this with what sounds like an old classic rootsy song “Suck it Up” which is about keeping it together when her heart is broken.   This is the musical style that allows Eryn’s voice to soar into the stratosphere.  The horn arrangements throughout this CD are as good as it gets.   “Breathe in” is so sexy and beautiful.  “Boy Like You” brings us right into that smoky bar with her as she falls in love with the lonely guitar player.  One of my faves on the CD “Afraid of the Dark”... comes out swinging and again is a vocal showcase filled with the angst of not knowing where she stands with her lover.   “Relax to sleep” is a lullaby to herself with classic 70‘s rock undertones that build and build.  “High School sweet heart” is a ton of fun with it’s playful Bo Diddly beat and killer slide guitars.   There are some chordal twists and turns that are so melodic and surprising on this one.   “Back seat romance forecast” gets us back with the full band...upbeat and sexy.  “Simple” is destined to be a classic.  A song about love that is as simple as it’s title.  Simple as the rain.   The final song on this CD makes us smile along with Eryn and her band.    Her version of Tom Waits song “I wish I was in New Orleans” brings us right downtown with a real “New Orleans dixie band”.  I couldn’t help but smile and bop right out of this CD.  I should mention that the orchestrations and musicianship throughout the entire album are as good as it gets.  This album is a treat each time I listen to it and I’m not done yet!

 

-Alice Leon