Lisa Angelle,
Lisa Angelle
(DreamWorks, 2000)

The first thing that hits you when you throw in this disc is the power of Lisa Angelle's voice. The opening track, the rocking country "4, 3, 2, 1," gets the record off to an energetic start and establishes Angelle's power as a singer and a songwriter. Unusual in country music, she wrote all of the lyrics on the record; she teamed with co-producer Andrew Gold to write the music on most of the tracks.

Gentleness takes over on "A Woman Gets Lonely," which is anything but the stereotypical hurtin' song that the title suggests. Angelle's subtle softness suits her as well as the growl she takes on in "Kiss This." "I Didn't Want to Know" is a sad lament to the end of a love affair, tearful in its regret of honesty. She ups the tempo again on "I Wear Your Love," a pop-tinged love song with just a touch of sass.

"Daddy's Gun" is a disturbing tale of abuse and revenge against and abusive parent. Angelle tells the story with compassion and frankness. On "I Don't Know Why," Angelle reveals Patsy Cline as one of her musical influences as she goes back to an earlier era with a classic country sound. The record closes on a triumphant note with the soaring "Sparrow," complete with a choir to accompany the final chorus.

There is a wide variety of songs presented on this record; emotions ranging from hurt to happiness and back again are chronicled in every song. Angelle presents a very well-rounded debut that promises much more to come.

[ by Rachel Jagt ]

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