11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Amy Speace's sixth album is a lesson in "more is less." Producer Neilson Hubbard strips back the arrangements to highlight her fine voice and even finer lyrics. An acoustic guitar and a few pieces from a string section make a song like "Lullabye Under the Willow" bruise on impact. There's nowhere for Speace's voice to hide her lyrics, and the result is a nakedness that befits these songs (which, according to Speace, were inspired by her study of Shakespeare and his universal truths and timeless emotional dilemmas). The wordplay and sentiments are strong, but the music plays an important part. The title track brings the full band into focus—electric guitars snarl and drums push forth the sea-like rhythms, yet they leave enough room for everything to stay in balance. "The Sea & the Shore," a duet with Oklahoma singer John Fullbright, provides a strong contrast, with Fullbright's deep, gravelly voice counterbalancing Speace's light-as-air delivery. It's hard to believe Speace had been laid low by a serious case of acute laryngitis; here she sings unharmed throughout.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Amy Speace's sixth album is a lesson in "more is less." Producer Neilson Hubbard strips back the arrangements to highlight her fine voice and even finer lyrics. An acoustic guitar and a few pieces from a string section make a song like "Lullabye Under the Willow" bruise on impact. There's nowhere for Speace's voice to hide her lyrics, and the result is a nakedness that befits these songs (which, according to Speace, were inspired by her study of Shakespeare and his universal truths and timeless emotional dilemmas). The wordplay and sentiments are strong, but the music plays an important part. The title track brings the full band into focus—electric guitars snarl and drums push forth the sea-like rhythms, yet they leave enough room for everything to stay in balance. "The Sea & the Shore," a duet with Oklahoma singer John Fullbright, provides a strong contrast, with Fullbright's deep, gravelly voice counterbalancing Speace's light-as-air delivery. It's hard to believe Speace had been laid low by a serious case of acute laryngitis; here she sings unharmed throughout.

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