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Traveling With Lady Berlin

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Album Review

College towns have a way of producing talented singer/songwriters. Princeton, NJ, the home of Princeton University, is also the home of singer/songwriter Alice Leon and her band the Alice Project. One hears a great deal of potential on the Alice Project's second album, Traveling With Lady Berlin, which is vulnerable and sensitive without being wimpy. Leon's expressive vocals and contemplative, often poetic lyrics bring to mind storytellers who range from Carole King to Edie Brickell and Sheryl Crow, but without Crow's tendency to be cryptic at times. The New Jersey resident does a lot of reflecting on this melodic pop/rock effort — tracks like "I Don't Wanna Be Alone," "How I Wish," "Uncle," and "I'm Not Afraid to Live" are quite introspective — but other times, Leon turns her attention to the experiences of others. "Marilyn's Things" is an interesting and pointed number about obsessive Marilyn Monroe fans who attend auctions to make bids on items that the late sex goddess once owned; people who, Leon concludes, must lead very empty lives. And the song's message doesn't only apply to those who obsess over Monroe's possessions. It can apply to anyone who feels the need to live through someone else. Released in late 2000, this CD makes one hope that the Alice Project will become better known.


Formed: 1997 in Princeton, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Led by East Coast singer/songwriter Alice Leon, the Alice Project is a Princeton, NJ-based band that specializes in melodic, hooky, tuneful pop/rock. Leon is not the sort of artist who goes out of her way to be abstract or difficult; her songs tend to be meaty and substantial, yet very accessible and easy to absorb. Leon's influences -- either direct or indirect -- range from Carole King, Carly Simon, and the Beatles to Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Sheryl Crow, and former Til Tuesday singer turned...
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Traveling With Lady Berlin, The Alice Project
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