[1 July 2008]
Bess Rogers works the sexy librarian role in her debut release, Decisions Based on Information. Rogers sits among shelves of books, coyly looking over her black-rimmed glasses. As the guitarist for such musicians as Jenny Owen Youngs and Ingrid Michaelson, Rogers has, until now, lived on the edge of the limelight. In Decisions, Rogers employs a gamut of instrumental accompaniment for her compositions without overstuffing sound space or bogging anything down. Just some of the instruments involved include violin, French horn, cello, marimba, accordion, synth, and many others.
From twee pop, hip-hop sampling (“Undone”) and country licks (“You and Me”) to quaint ukulele-led tunes (“Modern Man”), Irish waltzes (“Waltz Me”) and noise rock (“Sunday”), Decisions presents a varied set of songs all written by Rogers. Although at times some of her lyrics come across as trite or forced, the majority of her compositions are refreshingly unique and catchy. “Baby can’t you see / I’m the kind of girl that could easily come… undone” (from “Undone”) is an example of the predictable and almost eye-roll inducing lyrics.