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CD REVIEW: Jamie Solow - Riddles
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Jamie Solow
Genre: Folk
CD Review:
The title song, Riddles, is sheer beauty. The composition and orchestration lay Jamie’s soft voice on a bed of pure pillow, a little spicy with movement, and always blithe, though it’s a song of questions. ‘Asking all the questions we’re wondering about / My friend, she’s got a riddle: How does she keep her open eyes? / This is her riddle, how does she let down her disguise’.

Even without noticing the great sea motif in the cd booklet’s photos, there’s a sense of vast compounds arising and foaming when you listen to Jamie’s fresh statement of surroundings. ‘Passionflower’ is reminiscent of those wonderful 70s days when women ruled the airwaves with softness and acoustic tools. A few Melissa Manchester tunes come to mind while Solow’s words go ­ ‘We’ve got no agenda / Nothing particular to do / The cow’s in the bathtub / And I’m here with you / The chicory and the passionflower / Are showing their blue / All on a ride in the country.’ But pleasingly, here we’re given a cool accordion backing from Kenny Kotwitz and a bit of Patti Weiss violin, making it one of the most special out of these dozen songs.

And then there’s the ballad-tropical sounds of ‘Key To Your Door’ which would be the BEST on a lonely beach, where a man rich enough not to have to work can think and swell with all that this life has to offer. ‘Such a fragile face / Nimble wisdom / What ark can I build for you / Emerald eyes / Secret window / I want to be the one to your rescue.’ Yes, Jamie has a way with phrases, sometimes making them a bit odd on paper, but never when you listen to that voice.

Sarah McLachlan has nothing on this woman, she of the slightly jazz nature. If there’s anything more poignant and touching than the style she envelopes into, send it to me. Of course, it’s not all sad and soft. ‘Don’t Go Dirty’ plays with a reggae style, putting you on the beach once more. Maybe it’s dirty, but I like to think of the dirt as sand. Listening to this cd, you can almost see the sunset yourself, coming up over the spooning waves.

Her CD can be bought at CD Baby, Earbuzz, Harmony Ridge, and Amazon (or just follow the link below).

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