Arielle Silver,
Something Pretty Something True
(Passion, 2006)

When Arielle Silver is at her best, her voice adds to the intensity of the songs on Something Pretty Something True. There are moments when the music on this recording gets a bit strange, but for the most part it suits the moment wonderfully. This may be the only CD where we wish for the long pause that so often comes between the "last track" and the hidden one after it. (In case you are wondering, there isn't a hidden track. I just wish there was one.)

The lyrics of "Something Pretty Something True" pull you in on the emotional side with an offer to listen. Sometimes the wrong choice is the one that calls the strongest, and "Flame I Should Fear" glimpses into that space. The music lets Silver's voice set the tone, and the quiet spoken style she uses in "Time & Space" lets it become a quiet confession.

The rock sensibility of the music in "Cowboy" keeps the music from shifting to country, although there is a definite western influence. The longing for closeness forms the heart of "Cover Me" as the lyrics are wonderfully poetic. The music and mood slide smoothly into "Missing You," which is heartfelt, but less sad than one might expect. The sorrow finds a home in "Pretty Parting Goodbye," which is a very different goodbye from the song before.

Silver switches to a spoken delivery for the politics of "Downpour Downtrodden," and she is not happy with the way things are. The verses and chorus of "Pull & Push" are of very different modes and the switch between the laidback verses and the driven chorus is jarring at times. The music returns to goodbyes in "Walk Away Instead," as the lyrics spell out the sorrow the music hints at.

The music warns you that not all is well before the lyrics tell you what it is in "Prefer You Were a Girl," and the tone of the music is unnerving. The tone snaps completely around with a brief pause before "How Beautiful, You" speaks love in every note and word. The intensity of the passion is completely missing in "5pm Busk," which suffers not from being bad but not matching up with the song before.

Silver's voice is one of the strengths of Something Pretty Something True, and when the music is stripped back you need the vocals to be very good. The CD is pretty damn good most of the way through.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Paul de Bruijn

24 May 2008

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new