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Sea of Tears

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Album Review

There is nothing wrong with providing retro music as long as the artist does it convincingly, and singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell is quite convincing on Sea of Tears. The era that she sets out to re-create on this 2009 release is the 1960s; this is '60s-flavored roots rock with elements of '60s blues (Chess Records' electric Chicago blues is an obvious influence), '60s soul and '60s country. And not only does Sea of Tears emulate the '60s stylistically — even Jewell's production recalls that decade. But Jewell's ability to make a 2009 release sound like it could have been recorded in 1967 or 1968 wouldn't mean much if she didn't know how to get her points across emotionally; Jewell is quite expressive, which isn't to say that she is an aggressive or forceful type of vocalist. Actually, Jewell's vocals are subtle, understated, and relaxed, but that doesn't make her any less expressive on moody, melancholy originals such as "Codeine Arms," "Rain Roll In," and "Fading Memory." Jewell, in fact, is as melancholy on her own material as she is on memorable performances of "I'm Gonna Dress in Black" (a brooding gem that Van Morrison performed when he was a member of Them in the '60s) and Loretta Lynn's "The Darkest Day." Sea of Tears is a highly appropriate title for this 38-minute CD, which is as dark as it is compelling. A lot of great art has been the result of darker emotions, and darker emotions certainly yield excellent results for Jewell on Sea of Tears.

Customer Reviews

Well worth a listen.

If you like an intelligent blend of country, blues, jazz, pop and rock you should listen to Eilen Jewell. If you are looking for something retro, yet different, have a listen. At the Byron Bay Bluesfest people clamoured for her version of a 60's rock song, 'Shakin' All Over', but I prefer her sad songs, such as 'Rain Roll In'. Not only does she have a wonderful but distinctive voice, her band is also excellent - particularly guitarist Jerry Miller.

Biography

Born: Boise, ID

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although her country-flavored and blues-infused version of contemporary folk (which also can include healthy doses of rockabilly and surf) has drawn comparisons to musicians like Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Jolie Holland, and the Be Good Tanyas, Eilen Jewell's strongest influences have been the classic sides recorded by Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday (the latter artist is no doubt the source for Jewell's characteristic and surprisingly effective stretched, slowed, and even slurred vocal mannerisms)....
Full Bio

Customer Ratings

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