JESSICA BURKS

Hollywood Sign EP

2009-05-11

Sometimes shorter is better, at least when the results are this tantalizing. In this four-track EP consisting of two songs and a version of each, Indie artist Jessica Burks brings a fresh approach to reggae arrangements with her raw and yearning voice that sounds as if it had been plucked from the middle of the Ozarks. “Hollywood Sign” (#1) creates faux-Old Testament proverbs from a combination of trenchant physical observations and movie biz clichés. “Ride All Night” (#2) cruises Burks’ half-seductive, half-weary voice through a nice romantic metaphor. The power of the taut reggae arrangements comes front and center in the dub versions of these tracks and showcase the encyclopedic smarts of Jamaican music expert and columnist for The Beat magazine Chuck Foster. He recorded, mixed, and mastered this invigorating appetizer and co-wrote the tracks with Burks. Here’s hoping a full platter will soon come.

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