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Amy Speace

Land Like a Bird

(Thirty Tigers; US: 29 Mar 2011; UK: 29 Mar 2011)

Fairly dull set from a singer with a pretty voice

Amy Speace has such a lovely voice.  It’s a shame that her songs aren’t more interesting. Land Like A Bird‘s opener “Drive All Night” is repetitive and dull, and so are any number of tunes on the album: “Ghost”, “Change For Me” and “Had to Lose” all mistake repetition for intensity. Speace can use her quavering voice to evoke any number of emotions, including wistfulness on “Land Like a Bird” and “Real Love Song”, and wry humor on “It’s Too Late to Call It a Night”.


Unfortunately, that’s not enough. Speace’s voice is subtle and understated, so her way of using it well is to hit the gentle notes, not the Christina Aguilera-style howlers. That is fine, except that a few howlers would help us forget the repetitive dullness of those other songs I mentioned. In their absence, we have a battle between monotony and quiet. Monotony wins.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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With her latest effort, Amy Speace steps further away from electricity, focusing more on her storytelling prowess. The result, perhaps unsurprisingly, is beyond successful.
2 Nov 2009
Yes, Amy Speace is another girl with a guitar. But on this album, she proves that she's more than fierce enough to rock the scowl that she bares on its front cover.
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