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For All Time

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Album Review

At first listen, Halifax, Nova Scotia-based singer/songwriter Jill Barber sounds like merely the latest in a lineage that stretches back at least as far as her fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell. Her debut album For All Time is a familiar blend of folk, country, soft rock, and occasional torchy jazz influences, along with one oddball ringer, the Melanie-style Tin Pan Alley throwback (complete with tootling clarinet!) "When I'm Makin' Love to You." That playful tune is an early indication that Barber isn't interested in being just the next Norah Jones, and closer listens reveal a stronger talent. Foremost, Barber has an outstanding voice, smoky and soulful with both a country twang and the self-assuredly idiosyncratic phrasing of a jazz singer. Secondly, her lyrics generally avoid singer/songwriter cliché, and tunes like the shuffling folk-rocker "Hard Line" and the sorrowful lullaby "Goodnight Sweetheart," with its pedal steel and Floyd Cramer-style piano part, are melodic and instantly memorable. Fans of Canadiana will appreciate the album's special guests, including Luke Doucet, members of long-running country-rockers Blue Rodeo (lead singer Jim Cuddy provides a great harmony vocal on the choruses of the Emmylou Harris-like "Don't Go Easy") and Jill's brother, singer/songwriter Matthew Barber, but the focus through this intimate, live-sounding record is on Jill Barber, where it belongs. For All Time is a tremendously encouraging debut.

Customer Reviews

Jill Barber is a delight

From the very moment I heard Jill Barber - after years of seeing posters plastered around Queen's University promoting her shows at the Grad Club and never once investigating - I knew I was in love. There is something utterly beautiful and compelling about her music; something that crawls beneath your skin and finds its way to the heart of you. Her voice, equal parts smoke and honey, is warm and smooth, and will leave you wishing that you could wrap yourself up in her every word. Jill's latest release - For All Time - is as delightful as her previous two outings. If you are familiar with Jill and enjoyed her music in the past then this recording will feel like a welcomed, old friend. For those new to Jill, take a chance and give this album a spin. I can’t promise that everyone will love it (that’s impossible), but I can assure you that there is beauty to be found on its tracks. An ambitious piece of work, For All Time marvellously displays the breadth of Jill’s musical abilities while both bringing an easy smile to your face, and tugging at your heart strings. From the sexy, cabaret-influenced "When I'm Makin' Love to You", to the rousing, hand-clapping, foot-tapping "Hard Line", to the folk-country air of "Legacy" and "The Knot", to the joyous, sweeping melody of new love in “Starting to Show”, and the achingly beautiful laments of loss on "Ashes to Ashes" (dedicated to her late Grandmother) and the title-track "For All Time", Jill addresses the timeless themes of life, love and loss, while spanning a range of musical stylings and emotional responses. The album also includes an all-star line-up of contributing musicians, including guest vocals by Jim Cuddy (Don't Go Easy), and Jill's older brother Matthew Barber (Two Brown Eyes, Hard Line), but it is, undeniably, Jill Barber, with her sweet voice and lovely melodies, that makes this album noteworthy. While 2004’s Oh Heart EP certainly heralded Jill Barber’s arrival as a serious player on the Canadian indie music scene, For All Time solidifies her as a Darling on-the-rise, and proves yet again that she is deserving of every accolade bestowed upon her. So, pick up this album and keep an eye out for Jill in the future, she’s young and talented, and quickly making a name for herself. And if you can, make sure to catch her live – her stage presence is as rich and alluring as her voice. ~ pattie phillips [whitby, ontario]

Absolutly fantastic

I was just blown away by how fantastic this album was. Jill Barber is a wonderful, talented musician and deserves a huge standing approval. I don't care if this is or isn't your 'type' of music, give it a listen and you'll fall in love. Her voice is so eloquent and brings so much depth, smoothness and beauty to the music, you'll never loose interest in this track or any of her others. Bravo to Jill Barber, out of 5 stars I would give her 10 hands down. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future.


It's about time this girl had a mainstream release! She's been around for years and I've always been sad more people hadn't had the opportunity to hear her music.


Born: February 06, 1980 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With her jazz-inspired songwriting and distinctive smoky voice, acclaimed Canadian singer Jill Barber creates the type of music that harks back to an earlier era. A native of Toronto, she initially began her career in Halifax, where she released her 2002 debut, A Note to Follow So. From the start, Barber's range included a mix of jazz, Americana, and folk-inspired pop, not unlike her older brother, roots pop songwriter Matthew Barber. She continued to develop this mix over the course of her next...
Full bio
For All Time, Jill Barber
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Customer Ratings