BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Pieta Brown is one of those well-travelled troubadours who has often been either taken for granted or simply overshadowed by her famous father, singer/songwriter Greg Brown. That’s despite a dozen years of making music and various releases that affirmed a rapid ascent. Hopefully though that neglect will be part of the past once Paradise Outlaw gets the hearing it so certainly deserves. It’s not only one of the best folk discs in recent memory, but it’s also an album so singular in style that it may indeed raise the bar for all who follow in her wake.
That’s not to say that somehow Brown has runs amuck; to the contrary, she spins a melodious MO, unfolding each song at a slow but steady pace, remaining sweetly seductive and coolly confident with a decidedly fragile finesse. With the exception of the stealth-like “Heading Home” and the darkly foreboding “Letter in Hand,” there’s no wavering in that calming embrace; indeed that gentle gait remains wholly undeterred. Her soulful duet with Amos Lee on “Do You Know?” qualifies as the best of the bunch, but the sweet intonation of “Ricochet,” “Flowers of Love” and “Painter’s Hands” makes comparisons moot and unnecessary. Each of these 14 tracks is capable of quickly getting under the skin and then resonating within that supple stance.
Similar in many ways to the earliest outings by, say, Joni Mitchell or Emmylou Harris, Paradise Outlaw easily qualifies as one for the ages. It’s simply that good.
DOWNLOAD: “Do You Know,” “Ricochet,” “Flowers of Love”