Colleen Power,
Face & Eyes
(Baygirl, 2005)

My first introduction to Colleen Power was through the happy-go-lucky-in-love ballad, "Leavin' Song," which -- title notwithstanding -- is not a leavin' song. With that hook drawing me in, I had no choice but to dive right into the rest of Face & Eyes, Colleen's second release.

This young Newfoundland singer turns serious on track two, "Ugly Tellin' Lies," which is exactly what it sounds like. Obviously, Colleen has no problem expressing her feelings through song. Track three gives voice to a cleverness that anyone who's spent time in Canada's Atlantic Provinces can appreciate; "Newfoundland Weather" is a dream come true for love-torn meteorologists with its matter-of-fact chorus: "Oh, you and me are like Newfoundland weather / We're hard to predict, can it get any better / We got thunder and lightning and a love turning sour / Conditions are subject to change in the hour."

OK, I promised myself this review would not be a litany of comments about each and every track, but track four is impossible to resist. "Na Na Song" is so bouncy and free, it sounds to the casual listener like the happiest of love songs. But listen to the words before you play it for your significant other, folks; the only happy one here is Colleen, and that's 'cause she's rubbing her absence like salt into the wound of a former lover.

I'd be lyin' if I didn't say these first four tracks are my favorites on the album, but that doesn't indicate any weaknesses in tracks 5-13. A bilingual singer, Colleen has included three songs in French; "Danger Danger" is especially jazzy and fun and "Aucune Idee" has a sultry slow blues that's a pleasure to hear even if I don't have a clue what she's singing about. There's a bit of a downhome hoedown, the quiet admonition not to smoke around the baby and the unexpected surprise of a relationship that has lasted into its second week. And I have to admit, I scoured Colleen's website looking for a photo of the infamous "Jodi Rae stripper clock," but I came up disappointed. At least the song's still fun!

Face & Eyes is a delightful album, more proof of my personal theory that much of the world's best musical talent and creativity is nestled in the snug harbors of the Atlantic Provinces. Not only is the music fun, but I suspect Colleen would be a treat on stage. Track her down, give her a listen and see for yourself.

by Tom Knapp
30 September 2006

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