One of the annoyances of being a reviewer is trying to find ‘pigeon-holes’ for the music on offer. When I was a lad and discovering Grown Ups music in the seventies Anna Elizabeth Laube* would have simply been described as a singer-songwriter and I can’t think of a more fitting description.
As I’ve said several times recently I’m under fire from the Post Office these days with albums arriving every day; sometimes three at a time; which makes selecting albums to listen to and then deciding which to review a bit of a chore…..as each obviously has its merits.
In the case of Tree by Anne Elizabeth Laube the pretty girls face with the enigmatic smile initially caught my attention on the cover; and Anna’s pleasing and toe-tapping cover of Dylan’s Wallflower which opens the disc, certainly lived up to the Album artwork.
The title track Tree follows and the singers warmly expressive voice took me me back to two of my favourite Singers from those halcyon days in the 1970’s when I would sit in a darkened bedroom trying to untangle the mysteries of the Universe by listening to Melanie Safka and (check her out) Twiggy. Yes, the original Supermodel was a singer too, with a voice that made me go week at the knees; in the same way Anna Elizabeth Laube is doing in 2016.
As with all of the best singer-songwriters Ms. Laube can tell a magnificent story with the subtlety of the finest poets, as is best captured in the title track Tree.
I’m a man of ‘a certain age’ but can still remember what it felt like to be in the first flush of love; and Anna captures that magical time so well on All My Runnin’ which features some gut wrenching pedal-steel from Dan Tyack; and on I Miss You So Much; the soft Alt. Country vibe is augmented by haunting harmonies and a maudlin harmonica intro and outro.
There is another interesting cover version tucked away in the middle; even though I’ve never heard the original! Anna Elizabeth has turned Beyonce’s pop hit XO into a very brittle love song; worthy of Joni Mitchell circa Blue.
For some reason; possibly because it’s quite dull, grey and rainy here at the moment, the song that has captured my heart is the gently swinging Sunny Days, which is as sweet as a lemon drop but also deep enough to bring a tear to the corner of my eye….although that may be dust (or not).
I wasn’t aware of Anna’s previous three albums before discovering her delights here; and judging by the gushing praise on the Press Release from some reviewer/critics I admire I will certainly be hunting them down like a mad woman on the first day of the Next Sale.
*Laube is pronounced – ‘Lau’ as in ‘now’ & ‘be’ as in ‘be’.
Released October 21st 2016
This review first appeared on The Rocking Magpie website https://wordpress.com/stats/day/rockingmagpie.wordpress.com