Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Over and Over

One of the Christmas gifts I gave came with 50 free downloads from eMusic.com, a site I hadn’t heard of at the time (they’ve since started running TV ads), and as the recipient of that gift isn’t much interested in new music, he gave the downloads back to me (sometimes it’s cool to give AND receive :-).

I’m digging eMusic.com, a site featuring music of all genres from independent labels, more than I thought I would. It’s led me to discover (and in some cases rediscover) cool music not spotlighted by radio or the other online sites (iTunes, Rhapsody, Yahoo Music, etc.) Case in point is the wondrous Erin Bode and her new CD, Over and Over.

There’s a mellow, jazzy feel to Erin Bode’s music that brings to mind the music of other noteworthy female artists who straddle the worlds of pop and jazz…artists like Norah Jones, Lizz Wright, and the late, great Eva Cassidy. But where there those ladies bring a smoky, undeniably soulful vibe to their vocals, Bode’s voice has a more delicate and lilting quality…harkening back to some of Joni Mitchell’s early jazz-influenced efforts or, perhaps a bit more on point, to the ever-wonderful Nanci Griffith (though with less twang :-)

The songs on Over and Over are all slow simmering, soothing mid-tempo offerings that keep Bode’s evocative voice always at the forefront (though space is given over to tasteful piano solos and yearning sax solos to bring additional colors to the program.)

Where Bode's last album, 2004’s
Don’t Take Your Time, was dominated by an eclectic group of interesting covers (Lennon & McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Irving Berlin, Bob Dylan, the Gershwins), this disc is filled mostly with poignant originals co-written by Bode and keyboardist/guitarist Adam Maness…the three covers here (a sprightly take on Paul Simon’s “Graceland”, a slow-building version of the jazz standard “Alone Together, and a lovely, spare [just vocal and acoustic guitar] cover of Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years”) fold nicely into the overall flow of the CD without being the distractions that cover songs can sometimes be.

Over and Over is a Sunday morning/soft rainy day kind of album…the kind of music that slips up on you and takes you into its gentle embrace and soothes your soul. And hey, that’s all right by me.

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