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Missy Higgins - Sound of White


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.

Track listing:
1. All for Believing
2. Ten Days
3. Scar
4. Don't Ever
5. Nightminds
6. Unbroken
7. Any Day Now
8. Katie
9. River
10. Special Two
11. This Is How It Goes
12. Sound of White

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