Lesley Young,
(Blue Song, 2007)

Lesley Young is a Canadian singer/songwriter/guitar player who hails from Ontario. Inside is the second CD from a lady who has been performing (including acting) for more than 25 years. Inside reaches a little beyond simple folk-rock to hit other genres such as jazz, country and even pop.

"River of Life" is an interesting track. It has more rock overtones than the other offerings on this CD. "You are ancient like me / so ancient / the dust rises from your feet / and each blessed soul you meet / is connected by invisible threads / God weaves." Like a couple of the other tracks, this song hints at Young's spiritual side.

I might be a little biased since I like to scuba dive, but "Open Sea" grabbed me pretty quickly. Young sings about finding some place better out in the open sea. She sings to someone who has left her behind, someone full of empty promises. Young just wants him (or her) to come take her away and set her free. I am personally partial to the music more than the lyrics.

"Deschenes Avenue" is a sweet tune that Young dedicated to her late grandmother. She reminisces back to when they spent their summers together. She remembers playing with her grandmother's shoes. She remembers comic books, Kool-Aid and red licorice. It is a nostalgic piece that will easily bring a smile to your face assuming you have your own fond memories of a grandmother.

Keen listeners might note the electric sitar on a couple of tracks. Young played it when she wasn't playing guitar or crystal bowls (of all things). Other musicians on Inside include Maury Lafoy (bass), Shawn Eisenberg (drums), Jamie Alexander (synthesizer), Kurt Swinghammer (guitar, lap steel), Vezi Tayeb (Hammond organ, electric piano), Tony Rappaport (viola) and David Travers-Smith (trumpet, percussion).

Lesley Young has a bit of a mousy voice that is almost cute. You can tell she poured heart and soul in to her Inside project. There are some good tracks on this relatively short CD, which clocks in at 37 minutes. I have to wonder if Young will ever have a wide audience, though, as she sounds almost like a little girl at times -- not the mature woman who wrote these songs. To my mind, there is a disconnect between the lyrics and the voice that brings them to life that throws me enough to only recommend this CD with a word of caution. I don't think the combination will work for everyone.

[ visit the artist online ]

review by
Wil Owen

30 January 2010

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