Amy Speace,
(Twangirl, 2002)

Amy Speace is a pleasure to listen to. Her debut CD Fable contains 11 original songs that incorporate a variety of themes ranging from introspective to witty.

Her songwriting draws from her experience as a former Shakespearean actress and an English major who studied music theory. Growing up in Minnesota and rural Williamsport, Pa., and now based in New Jersey, she cites musical influences including Joni Mitchell and Dar Williams. She shares Dar's ability to write songs about relationships that are reflective and sometimes quirky; her music could be categorized as folk or alt-country.

Fable opens with "Restless," one of the more rock-oriented songs. "Rosalie" is a look back at a long relationship. One of the CD's best tunes is "Idle Hands," a story about a lonely, rebellious teenage girl; it very nicely combines a not-so-happy story with some great hooks. On the happier side, "Arizona 160" describes a joyful road trip. "Fairytale" is another example reflective lyrics with a nice melody.

On the edgier, rockier side, "The Morning After the Ball" takes a cynical look at a relationship. In a similar vein is "Seven Year Itch" (not the Rosanne Cash song), which also looks at a tired relationship. "Two Ships" gives Amy a chance to explore some fantasies and her poetry background. The CD closes with "Transatlantic Conversation," another song that combines a soothing melody with thoughtful lyrics.

Fable is full of good songwriting, a good voice and a nice variety of songs that range from reflective to witty and sometimes edgy. In these times when popular music seems to be often short on substance, an artist like Amy Speace is a welcome treat.

- Rambles
written by Dave Townsend
published 28 August 2004

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