Caren Armstrong,
(Wildplum, 2007)

Every once in a while, you hear a singer for the first time and wonder, "Why haven't I heard her before? Why isn't this woman a star?" Caren Armstrong is one of those singers.

On Everything, her fourth CD -- and the first I've heard -- she delivers just about what the title promises: everything. Fine songs, fine arrangements, singing good enough to rivet you in place, singing that never calls undue attention to itself but instead serves the song instead of trying to overpower it.

Armstrong also has a sly sense of humor. On the opening song, "That is Why," she lists all her faults and then declares "That is why you like me." On "All the Help," she declares that she is pretty good at some things, but "then there's all the rest."

Armstrong, though, is not satisfied with just stating her feelings. Her songs go for the universal. In "Savasana," a song about a longing for peace, she describes some of the ills that plague our society, but her emphasis is on a personal solution; she sees what is wrong as all of our responsibility, instead of just some outside agency's. It's fine work, as is most of this CD.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

29 December 2007

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