Lori Amey,
(self-produced, 1999)

Resignation is a powerful CD by Lori Amey. The broadness and gentleness of her voice, the depth of the lyrics and the interplay between music and words swirl together to form a river that flows through you.

The music is a part of the whole and it is hard to say if it is the current or the water to the words. Whichever it is, it blends seamlessly with the lyrics to form beautiful songs.

There is a common thread tying these songs together. They are all messages from one person to another -- part of a conversation you hear only a piece of, and only from one side at that. But, that is OK, sometimes part of the message will be for you.

The CD starts off with two songs where the speaker is reaching out in love, trying to express that which is beyond words. Neither song is overly sappy. "Cross the Line" is someone trying to say the words for the first time. "Calm" provides the words from someone a bit further down the road, someone who is starting to open up. The third song, "Shattered," speaks of love, but more of letting go.

"Better Day" is from a friend reaching out to someone in need. "Inside" could well be the reply, many years later. The horns add a nice touch to this song. "Let You Go" is another song of parting, this time coming from one who cares too much, to one who does not want to know.

The next song is rather short: "Phone Message" is exactly that. Well, almost, it is more the message you might use to answer the phone if you knew who would be calling you next. "Heal" is sung from the perspective of a person who has been healed and has let go of the past ... a song of hope from someone who has seen dark times. "Resignation" is a lightly floating song which matches the casual grace and strength in the lyrics. The next two songs are responses to other people. In "I Know" the speaker is trying to reach out to someone who is hiding behind a mask. "Live Fast Die Young" is a good-bye song, spoken to someone whose hungers are too great.

This leaves us with one song to go and it's a hidden track. Heh. That pretty much sums up all I am going to say about it save this: it is sort of a love song -- well, maybe. And if you watched the right show growing up, you will recognize it fairly quickly. It is just pure fun and Amey and her band do a great job with it.

The musicians on the CD do a wonderful job crafting the music. They are Craig Krampf (drums, tambourine and shaker), "Chopper" Anderson (acoustic bass, fretless bass and 5-string electric bass), Steve Sheehan (acoustic guitars - natural strung and classical, electric slide and electric guitar), Jimmy Glass (electric guitars), Mark Jordan (Hammond B-3, electric piano, accordion and Wurlitzer), Wayne Jackson (trumpet, flugle horn and trombone), Tim Lorsch (violin -- hi-boy and baritone violin -- lo-boy), Laurie Wheeler (congas, timbales, the "ancestral bones," guiro, hand bass drum and talking drum) and Larry Pacheco (harmonica). In addition to her fine work singing Amey also plays acoustic guitar.

This CD is a beautiful piece of work. Pick it up sometime and listen to snippets of letters that have been recorded in song. Or maybe they are speeches transformed into music ... in any case, they come from the heart. Listen, they may even speak directly to you.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]