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Long Island Shores

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Album Review

Singer/songwriter Mindy Smith first came to attention with a faithful cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" on a tribute to the latter, Just Because I'm a Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton. Smith's fine debut album, One Moment More, arrived the following year and marked her as a country-pop talent worth watching. "Come to Jesus," the album's leadoff track, though uncharacteristic of the rest of the record, gave Smith a substantial hit and readied her newly acquired audience for the sequel. Long Island Shores doesn't exactly take Smith to new places — she remains perched firmly between mainstream and daring — but it's as solid an effort as that debut and confirms that the level of talent it displayed was no fluke. On Long Island Shores, Smith never succumbs to the clichés of craftsmanship or production that mar so many contemporary efforts within the genre. Although her tunes are relatively free of edge and quirk and her voice is naturally tender and crystalline, the vulnerability and honesty in her words and delivery elevate her quickly from novice to confident veteran. Smith is willing to explore and unafraid of intimacy. In the heartrending title track she longs for a family reunion that can never be, and the intimate soul-baring detail of "Peace of Mind" is confessional songwriting at its best: "I need peace of mind and a lullaby/'Cause there is an angry voice in my head tonight/Telling me to do things that can't be right." Those looking for more along the lines of "Come to Jesus" will find it in the evangelistic "I'm Not the Only One Asking" and "Little Devil," in which surprise overcomes her: "I thought he'd have two big horns and look at me with big red eyes/Instead he wore those baby blues and whispered promises and lies." Though there is a seriousness to much of her writing, it's not all meant to weigh heavily: "Tennessee" is a love letter to her adopted home, and both love (of the non-religious/non-geographic sort) and loss find themselves the center of attention in tracks like "Edge of Love," "You Know I Love You Baby," and "What If the World Stops Turning?" It remains to be seen whether Mindy Smith will emerge as a major player, but there's no sophomore jinx here. Though some might find it on the meek and lightweight side, many more will likely revisit Long Island Shores again and again.


Born: June 1, 1972 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Blending big-city intelligence and sophistication with the clear and honest passion of classic country and folk performers, Mindy Smith is a singer who combines the best of both worlds, and her talents have earned the young performer a growing reputation as an artist to watch, as well as some well-known admirers. Smith was born in Long Island, NY, and with the encouragement of her parents developed a passionate interest in music at an early age, taking up singing as a hobby. In 1994, Smith's mother...
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Long Island Shores, Mindy Smith
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