Ever since the end of the Lilith Fair, the female singer- songwriter has had no place to go. After the somewhat lackluster reception given to the recent albums by Alanis Morissette, Jewel, and even Tori Amos, it’s become increasingly obvious that the girl and her guitar (or piano) has faded in favor of the girl in the navel-revealing shirt. Confessional lyrics are now taking a backseat to lightweight pop.
So while it’s unfortunate that Leona Naess has debuted in these times with Comatised, as female singer-songwriters go, this album declares her as one of the best.
With her world-wise lyrics, a delicately powerful voice, and sensitive instrumentation, Leona Naess approaches her music with an impressive competence and a playful sense of humor. Comatised has a few darker themes running through it, but Naess is obviously having fun with what she’s doing. This all adds up to create a delightfully stimulating album.
From the dreamy “Lazy Days” to the elusive “Paper Thin,” there’s not a bad song anywhere on this album. Lyrically unafraid, Leona Naess covers a broad range, from a plea to an ex-lover on “Anything” to the sweet “Chosen Family.” Her expressive voice compliments her lyrics perfectly. The way sings “why do I always chase the ones that run?” in “Chase” it’s obvious she has no intention of stopping what she’s doing. In the subtly sultry “Lonely Boy,” Naess’ voice appeals to an emotionally unavailable boy. “And he turns to me and says I’m a lot like you” she sings, only to follow it up with the cry “Does that mean, boy, I’ll be lonely, too?”
If Comatised has a flaw, it would have to be the lame “enhanced” portion of the CD, which requires the installation of a program that will allow the user to (gasp!) play the CD through the computer. Still, this is a small complaint that has no bearing on the actual music itself.
Leona Naess’ talent will allow her to find the audience she deserves, despite the current musical taste of the public. Even though female singer-songwriters are not as visible, Leona Naess’ Comatised proves that they still remain fresh and intriguing voices in the world of music.
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// Notes from the Road
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