No one will know what to do with Amy Correia. Radio will want to stick her in with Sarah MacLachlan and Jewel, despite the fact her music is too quirky and off-kilter to be content there. At the same time, she’s too earthy fit in with ethereal favorites like Tori Amos and Dido. Amy Correia has no direct peer in other female singer/songwriters. Her voice, lyrics, and music are too different, and while it doesn’t always work, it serves her well. She may not win you over, but she’s always entertaining to listen to.
Amy Correia’s Carnival Love crafts 13 stories about finding meaning in the mundane, from the inheritance of an old bike (“The Bike”) to everyday beauty (“Life is Beautiful”). Her distinctive, bluesy voice carries the songs with sincere playfulness, and the folksy arrangements of instruments keep the music fun even in its darker moments.
Correia’s lyrics are intelligent and unconventional, although they do sometimes fall into the realm of the obscure. Her cleverness and self-awareness is evident in lines like “I’m lying to myself and I’ll be lying next to him” from “Gin” while the contradictory imagery in “Fallen Out of Love” provide listeners with a certain mood. However, the warped language of “Chinatown” does not give any insight to the situation in question.
But the true strength of Carnival Love and Correia is her surprising perspective. One moment, she’s wistfully wishing on stars, like on “Starfishin’” and then the next, she’s lusting after a boy who prefers his car to her. These everyday situations are given new meaning by Correia’s unique take on them, both lyrically and musically. Not shying away from blending strings with acoustic guitars, Correia has created songs that continually fascinate and amaze.
Amy Correia will probably confuse most people. She doesn’t fit in with the other musicians that she has the most in common with. But those with the patience will enjoy her unusual style and view of life. Carnival Love sounds like nothing else and Amy Correia’s individuality is her greatest gift.