Leah Callahan,
Even Sleepers
(Baraca, 2003)

Leah Callahan has a voice that is difficult to classify. There is a vulnerable sound to it, but her lyrics are at odds with that vulnerability. Her influences are varied and come from all quarters; she has researched popular female singers in various countries.

My one criticism is that, on Even Sleepers, her voice at times can be lost in the music and the lyrics may be difficult to hear.

Like her voice, the styles of music on this CD are hard to pigeonhole. This is great for a listener open to new sounds and experiences but it may cause difficulty for music programmers and so allow this definitive talent to drop through the cracks.

This is a fascinating album of very deep songs. For instance, "Vampire" is a track that illustrates her influences. She notes that it sprang from seeing the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula with Winona Ryder. It concerns the way one person can love a person who's evil. Such complexity is fascinating, but I fear that people selecting playlists may not get the message.

It may not get the airplay that it deserves so anyone interested in good music and pushing back the frontiers will need to seek out the CD and immerse themselves in the sounds. This will give listeners great pleasure and will encourage Leah to continue. But please include the lyrics next time, Leah.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 6 March 2004