Maia Sharp – Echo

January 01, 1970

(Crooked Crown)


Album titles can be telling, and indeed, Echo finds singer/songwriter Maia Sharp
recasting the classic Brill
Building template within
the bounds of the new Millennium.  Sharp
will probably always be referenced to Carol King, thanks to an affable sound
that recalls King classics like Tapestry
and the fact that like King, she provides work for hire, counting Cher, Kim
Richey, Paul Carrack and Art Garfunkle among her high profile clientele.  Comparisons come easily in songs such as
“Unbreakable” and “Where Do I Begin,” mirroring the gentle yearning and
seductive passion that made King’s ‘70s standards so quietly compelling.


Still, Sharp’s fixation with relationships gone wrong
sometimes seems an unyielding obsession, one that casts a cloud on the
proceedings overall.  Her melodies may be
infused with a sweetness and a saunter, but the bitter barbs that infuse “Whole
Flat World” (“You were my whole flat world/’Til the day I discovered it was
round/You were my favorite movie/’Til they started making them with sound…”)
and “Why Do You Want To Know” (“Your apology’s looping around and around/And
the vinyl’s wearing out/She’s so tired of hearing that record”) maintain an
unrelenting animosity that’s both prickly and pessimistic. It casts a cloud on
the album overall, one that finds her berating losers and lovers in a steady
stream of rebukes and vitriol.  Echoes
aside, Sharp’s edges create a deep divide.


“Unbreakable,” “Whole Flat World” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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