Miranda Barber’s debut, Lips’ Decision, is a sampler of jazz in its various forms. The UK-based Aussie offers up a rather simmering set of slow-burners that would otherwise peg her as a torch-singer if it weren’t for her strong pop leanings. Though Joni Mitchell would be an obvious comparison, it is actually the other quirksome Canadian songstress with which Barber would likely find a kindred spirit in: Jane Siberry. Both these ladies share a lyrical sensibility that allows them to tell skewed tales of peculiar lives with such moving sincerity. Barber’s greatest asset is her voice with which she deftly scat-sings over the joyous numbers, most notably on the amusingly-titled album opener, “The Num Num Song”. Theatricality and wit are key elements here and if that somehow escapes you, the scarlet kiss of ruffles that Barber adorns on the CD sleeve (in cheeky reference to the album’s title), will surely clue you in.
// Notes from the Road
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