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Priscilla Ahn

A Good Day

(Blue Note; US: 10 Jun 2008; UK: Available as import)

If the lilt in Priscilla Ahn’s vocal delivery sounds familiar to you, perhaps it’s because a few of the songs on her debut, A Good Day, are reminiscent of her Blue Note label mate Norah Jones. A flattering comparison, to be sure, given the full timbre of Jones’s instrument, but comparisons don’t tell the entire story.  Besides, familiarity with her work might have come from hearing Ms. Ahn’s song “Rain” in an episode of hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy. The song received prominent placement, wafting in the background, adding a gentle touch to a montage of poignant, biting scenes. At the end, the show’s protagonist, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) sums it all up. “Chemistry. Either you’ve got it. Or you don’t.”


That voiceover could easily apply to Ms. Ahn’s debut, Good Day, a reflective sonic montage in its own right. Through a suite of tightly constructed campfire-style tunes, the singer-songwriter presents a range of perspectives and emotions, sometimes through first person narratives, and sometimes from the view of an observer. What’s good is the intimacy in these songs, from the opening acoustic treat “Dream” (which also appeared in this year’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy—gosh, I hope Meredith and McDreamy get back together!), to the whimsy of “Wallflower”, the smarmy kiss-off in “I Don’t Think So”,  the electricity of “Red Cape”, that slow-grinding sway in “Astronaut”, and finally the airiness of the title track. Even better is the way Ms. Ahn’s delivery expounds on the tautness of the songwriting, so that the songs breathe and feel effortless. The biggest nitpick might be the easy comparison to Norah Jones (which, really, isn’t much of a complaint), but Priscilla Ahn has a distinctively alluring voice with the ability to enchant.

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Quentin Huff is an attorney, writer, visual artist, and professional tennis player who lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law, he enjoys practicing entertainment law. When he's not busy suing people or giving other people advice on how to sue people, he writes novels, short stories, poetry, screenplays, diary entries, and essays. Quentin's writing appears, or is forthcoming, in: Casa Poema, Pemmican Press, Switched-On Gutenberg, Defenestration, Poems Niederngasse, and The Ringing Ear, Cave Canem's anthology of contemporary African American poetry rooted in the South. His family owns and operates Huff Art Studio, an art gallery specializing in fine art, printing, and graphic design. Quentin loves Final Fantasy videogames, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, his mother Earnestine, PopMatters, and all things Prince.


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