Amelia White – Beautiful and Wild

January 01, 1970

(self-released)

 

www.ameliawhite.com

 

The problem with the fact that there are so damn
many proficient singer/songwriters of both genders these days is that, well,
maybe there’s too damn many. Sure, having too much of a good thing wouldn’t
strike most people as anything to complain about, but when it crowds the
playing field to the extent that it’s hard to tell one artist from another,
then the up-and-comers are bound to suffer in the process. Take Amelia White
for example; five albums on, she’s still struggling to break out of a pack of
also-rans ultimately overshadowed by Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and the other
voices that epitomize Nashville/Austin’s alt-country landscape.

 

That’s unfortunate, because singled out on its
own, Beautiful and Wild is an
admirable effort dominated by a nonchalant attitude and a soulful sway.
Inspired by the untimely passing of guitarist Duane Jarvis, one of White’s
musical mentors, it boasts a beguiling ballad like “Sidewalks,” which ruminates
about losing a loved one, and songs
such as “Saint Christopher” and “Madeline,” which lament the fallout from a
failed relationship. Producer Marco Giovino, best known up until now as the drummer
in Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, keeps a consistent tone, a dreamy haze broken
only by the uncommonly determined “Saint Christopher” and the sassy spunk of
“Molten Fire.” Yet having taken the baton from Nielson Hubbard — a musician
who frequently dabbles in more surreal environs — Giovino still manages to provide
a more upbeat assessment.  Still, the
fact that the stand-out of this set is a sultry cover of Bryan Ferry’s “More
Than This” makes it clear that White still needs a distinctive imprint of her
own.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Sidewalks,” “More Than This,” “Madeline” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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