Anne Heaton,
Black Notebook
(self-produced, 2002)

I was quite excited by this new-to-me artist, Anne Heaton, a New York City native who is a very talented singer-songwriter. On my first listen to this disc, I was immediately taken by her voice -- it's beautiful and can sound playful, full of yearning, soothing, even sexy. The feeling her voice portrayed always matched whatever I perceived the song to be about.

The opening track, "Take Your Desire," is an honest look from both a male and female perspective at how despite being in a relationship, we all still have wandering eyes. Others, such as "Spinning," have a catchy rhythm to go along with multifaceted lyrics. Heaton's accomplished piano and keyboard playing is evident on this track.

All the tracks' accompaniment seems just right to me -- not too much to override her vocals but enough to enjoy the music as well. There is a wide array of accompanying instruments played by talented musicians including Frank Marotta Jr. on guitars and Denny McDermott and on drums.

My favorite song is "Bellyside." Anyone in loving relationship who has had a bad fight needs to listen to this song. It's a lovely reminder that it's hard to stay angry if a soft spot is exposed.

Rub my bellyside
It's soft, my bellyside
And it won't give you the evil eye like I will
It's tender and it can't frown
My soft side is always around if you can find it

This is a wonderful disc full of reflective songs about different kinds of relationships. There is a slight pop music feel to some of the arrangements but it never completely crosses that line. I'd love to see this artist live to hear her wonderful voice and to get more of an insight to the stories behind these songs, but until I do, this disc will keep me satisfied.

by Erika S. Rabideau
26 May 2007

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