BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s been a full five years since Barbara Trentalange’s last effort, and in the interim, she’s had a child and a chance to reflect on her musical MO. Fortunately though, she hasn’t shed her innate quirkiness, nor forgotten the lessons learned while supporting the likes of Crooked Fingers, Calexico, Micah P. Hinson, and others.
As evidenced by her first two albums, she seems to relish the unexpected elements that make Same Illusion sometimes seem so bizarre. She still incorporates the strange sounds that give the casual listener pause, particularly on “Uh Huh,” where Trentalange comes across like some new age siren akin to Debby Harry or the Motels’ Martha Davis. Yet, her moods can be difficult to read. The lurching “Without Your Love” finds her plucking on the piano like a kid learning “Chopsticks,” while the surreptitious serenade “Reconnected” and the meandering pace of the title track affirm an intriguing if somewhat aloof persona.
Even when she aims at getting the momentum going on the songs “Freedom” and “River Child,” the forward thrust is short-lived. The listener is best advised to avoid a cursory listen and allow Same Illusion to cast its own distinctive spell.
DOWNLOAD: “Freedom,” “River Child”