Robin Greenstein,
(Windy Records, 1999)

Robin Greenstein defines Acousticness as "a musical style mixing folk, rock, blues, country, jazz and soul." There's really not a more fitting title for her latest CD. Although her roots are in traditional folk, this singer-songwriter from New York City isn't afraid to cross over into other styles and play around.

The title track, "Acousticness," explains that personal style in a story-song with a funky, bluesy riff in the background, while paying homage to a list of great performers. The rest of the songs on the CD seem to slide along that spectrum of style, touching down here and there. Despite the variety of styles, Greenstein's CD is a strong second outing.

"New Kick Now" opens the collection; in her liner notes, Greenstein calls it "somewhat tongue in cheek." Upbeat pop-folk, the song isn't your traditional breakup song. "I'll Be There (Anytime at All)" showcases Greenstein's strong voice -- she reminds me of Carly Simon (one of my all-time favorites); her voice is strong and earthy and definitely pleasing to the ear. The slow, rhythmic introduction of "Tomorrow's a Brand New Day" caught my attention right from the first notes. This quietly philosophical song features simple, clear lyrics and soothing melodies.

Several of the songs on this CD have been around since Greenstein released her first CD, Slow Burn. "Let Go," according to the liner notes, is an audience favorite at Greenstein concerts, while "I Can't Lose with You" originated back when Greenstein was writing songs with Janice Payson. "West Coast Swing" is a hip-tugging shuffle blues which, according to Greenstein, is a dance-style sister to the East Coast Swing. The CD ends with the pensive "Sacred Song," a quiet ode to friendship.

Despite the eclectic mix that makes up Greenstein's style, this CD holds together solidly. Greenstein's voice is perfectly suited for these songs -- it ranges from smoothly seductive to whispery soft, capping off her style perfectly. All in all, Acousticness is a hit -- the music is tight and the lyrics are good. This is the type of CD that makes me want to find her first release and give it a listen.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]

Check out Robin's website