EILEN JEWELL

SEA OF TEARS

2009-04-15

With her unhurried vocals, sensual voice and incisive lyrics, Eilen Jewell made quite a splash with her 2006 debut "Boundary Country" and the 2007 follow up "Letters from Sinners and Strangers". While those discs often played on the country side of folk, this disc features a harder edge and almost rocks out at times with hints of Sun Records rockabilly thrown in for good measure. Johnny Kidd’s "Shakin’ All Over", which has been covered by the Who and countless others, bristles with energy while "One of These Days" has a swagger that matches her quest for revenge against an errant lover. Elsewhere, there are hints of the Byrds on "Rain Roll In" with its elegant guitar and Rickie Lee Jones on "Final Hour" where Jewell’s off hand vocals provide a nice counterpoint to the stinging guitar lines and chilled out B3 grooves. "Everywhere I Go" is driven by a simple, but catchy rhythm that does Buddy Holly proud. Not all of the sparks come from the music: while the title track laments to an ex-lover that getting dumped is going to leave her in a sea of tears, the hard edged musical backdrop and spit out vocals reveal a sarcasm that hits as hard as a Lucinda Williams track and mocks the sentiment of the words. Loretta Lynn’s "The Darkest Day" as well as "Nowhere in Time" and "Fading Memory" play closer to her earlier releases with a country twang. Smitty

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