Lara Herscovitch,
Juror Number 13
(La Rama, 2006)

Some say the world doesn't need any more lawyers. We learn from the biography on this album that Lara Herscovitch was once destined for that pasture bright, but diverted her attentions into social work and, of course, songwriting and performing. The law's loss was the music world's definite gain.

Juror Number 13 is an accomplished album of well thought-out and touchingly performed songs. Her writing is simply complex, if there is such a category. Her life experiences appear to colour her lyrics and sentiments. She uses tracks in languages other than English to great effect and "Blah blah blah (a love song)" is a case in point. OK, it's not in a foreign language but it is certainly interesting in this 58-second take.

Lara sings for the love of her music and this enthusiasm for expressing sentiments set to music will infect all but the coldest listeners. As usual I am slightly saddened as I review an album of such a high calibre while realizing she depends on a fickle industry to bring these songs to a wide public. Apart from the good music and songs the purchasers of this album can sleep with a satisfied smile because not only is the packaging -- very professionally done -- on recycled materials, the company also donates 10 percent of the sales to environmental projects. You win all around.

by Nicky Rossiter
27 January 2007

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