Wide awake

I've rambled through this album about five times. I've been on the fence about reviewing it, but then I realized that I was looking forward to my next listen. So there's a pull to this album that I can't quite describe.

Anna Tivel
Heroes Waking Up
(Fluff & Gravy)
I think my issue is that Tivel sings ruminative folk songs that aren't entirely sung. In general, I'm not a fan. But Tivel uses her alto range to full effect, affecting clear or raspy tones as the mood fits. And while these songs are often quiet, they are hardly still.

Indeed, there's a fire burning under these songs, one that took me a long time to perceive. Tivel isn't showy or demonstrative. She performs her songs in a deceptively simple manner. But that simplicity is belied by exceptional arranging and lyrical construction.

There's no shouting, no hollering and no wailing. Tivel holds her emotions close. But when they do seep out, the effect can be devastating.

It took a while for me to come around. I'm glad I did. And I'm still looking forward to my next session with this album.

Jon Worley

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