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Missy Higgins

On a Clear Night

(Reprise; US: 26 Feb 2008; UK: Available as import)

After winning over crowds in her native Australia, Missy Higgins makes her U.S. debut with the mightily tuneful On a Clear Night. She dives into the seemingly bottomless well of singer-songwriter clichés and surfaces with an assured set of compositions. Producer Mitchell Froom maintains the integrity of the songs and wisely steers the album away from glossy studio tricks. The dynamic range of the tracks is not overly compressed either, affording many sonic delights at close listen. “100 Round The Bends”, “Steer”, and “The Wrong Girl” are just a few examples of how perfect a match Froom is for Higgins. Though the symmetry of rhymes is sometimes inconsistent, Higgins knows how to write a memorable melody. Fans of Feist and KT Tunstall will warm most to On a Clear Night but Higgins will hopefully be appreciated on the merits of her own considerable artistry.

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Christian John Wikane is a NYC-based journalist and music essayist. He's a Contributing Editor for PopMatters, where he's interviewed artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Janelle Monae. For the past three years, he's penned liner notes for more than 100 CD re-issues by legends of R&B, rock, pop, dance, and jazz. Since 2008, he's produced and hosted Three of Hearts: A Benefit for The Family Center at Joe's Pub. He is the author of the five-part oral history Casablanca Records: Play It Again (PopMatters, 2009). Follow him on Twitter @CJWikaneNYC. 


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