Review: Jack Foley
AUSTRALIAN singing sensation, Missy Higgins, looks to spread
her reputation internationally with the UK release of her debut
album, Sound of White.
And it's fair to say that she should have no problem in appealing
to anyone who likes the sort of emotive songwriting that Joni
Mitchell and Tori Amos were renowned for - with a little of the
pop sensibilities of a Natasha Bedingfield thrown in (just occasionally).
Missy Higgins specialises in lovelorn lyrics, delivered in a
heartfelt, raw style, that are supported by melodic slices of
piano and acoustic guitar.
Her recent single, Ten Days, was typical of what to
expect - an intimate track made all the more striking for the
sorrowful string section that accompanies the lovelorn lyrics.
While tracks like Scar - which ended up becoming the
most played radio song of 2004 in Australia - display a breezier
style, that possess a surefire mainstream quality (and a touch
of the Bedingfields!).
In truth, I would have preferred to have a few more of the upbeat
stuff, given Higgins' ability to conjure feel-good acoustic melodies
in the style of Joni Mitchell.
Unbroken is another strong example of Higgins' talent
for doing this, playing up the guitars and placing the piano a
little more to the background (some of the solos are great, conjuring
memories of Turin Brakes' style).
While the dreamlike melodies of River are also quite enchanting,
if approached in a relaxed state of mind.
Of the ballads, some are a little too slow to get going and appeal
more to the Norah Jones crowd (the album was mixed by Jay Newland,
a Jones veteran).
But for those who fancy sitting back with a large glass of wine
and pondering their own lives while using Higgins' lyrics to guide
them, it's a similarly impressive offering that succeeds in marking
her out as an artist of huge potential.
Expect to be hearing plenty more of Missy Higgins in the future.