Judy Gorman,
Analog Girl in a Digital World
(One Sky, 1998)

From its opening handclaps and blues-influenced rhythms and vocals, Analog Girl in a Digital World marks Judy Gorman as a distinctive presence in the world of singer-songwriters. The focus throughout most of this album rests on Gorman's blending of lyrical prowess and musical accompaniment -- the result is one that is sure to please listeners from beginning to end.

"She Don't Slip," the first track on the album, showcases Gorman's ability to capture the unique attitude of a 10-year-old girl; this personality shines through in Gorman's bold-as-brass delivery. Yet in the next song, "One World," Gorman slips on a quieter, more compassionate persona to address the political ramifications of harsh living and working conditions on the hopes and dreams of young women. It's this intuitive grasp of each song's emotional resonances that offers the true measure of Gorman's talent.

Gorman's vocal flexibility continues on the title track, as her phrasings give added weight to her claim of holding onto personal relations in our computer age. But it's not just her voice that's flexible. While the songs on this album are mainly acoustic in nature, Gorman fleshes out many of the arrangements with orchestrational touches, such as the viola and violin on the title track, or alto sax on the jazzier "And I Am" and "In This Love." "Firedancer" moves in a sparser direction, with a strong percussive element.

Gorman's performing experience at clubs, universities, festivals, and peace and justice events has been instrumental, I'm sure, in helping her to hone and perfect her sound. This album is evidence that Gorman has found a vocal and musical range that suits her; I think listeners will agree with me.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]
Rambles: 28 July 2001

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