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Reviews: Tracy Jane Comer ~ Quietly There|
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 @ 13:18:49 UTC
Artist: Tracy Jane Comer
CD: Quietly There
Home: Madison, Wisconsin
Style: Acoustic Jazz/Blues/Country/Folk
Quote: "A song may start quietly, and you may think you know where it's going, but then it rises and fills the air with added notes from a cello or sax and wraps itself around you."
By Jennifer Layton
This woman never does anything halfway. No one will ever accuse Tracy Jane Comer of holding back. A song may start quietly, and you may think you know where it's going, but then it rises and fills the air with added notes from a cello or sax and wraps itself around you. Even the sad songs lift the spirit because of the magic in the sound.
And the voice isn't half bad, either. Comer can sound pure and angelic on classical compositions like "Take Me to the Mountain" and "Silent Care" -- on the latter, her voice rises at times like a cry to the heavens and dips smoothly down at others like a whisper to the ocean. In tracks like "Just One Person," she is steamy and seductive, a vibe enhanced by the vintage instruments (stand-up bass, tenor sax) weaving old-school jazz around her voice. About halfway through the CD, she suddenly takes a very 60s protest approach and wraps it in those magic chord progressions and the mournful sound of the cello, creating a pointed, emphatic anti-war song called "This Losing Game."
At times, she turns off the vocal mic and lets the music capture the listener completely. My personal favorite of the instrumentals is "Movin' in the Right Direction," an ambling, acoustic stroll down a country road. As for the others, "Yellow Bike" is a standout. It's a lovely folk ballad about a childhood of imagination and happiness despite the poverty. There's magic in the reminiscing and the warm acoustic chords. I like how she works in a few lines about looking back at it from an adult's perspective:
I wonder why I just can't understand
why I'm sad that I was happy then ...
But I don't think that it occurred to me
Life wasn't all that it should be ... we just lived ...
Comer can belt out anthems of independence and quietly croon songs of reflection and philosophy. And she puts every musical possibility into those songs, adding more voices to give more depth to the harmony, switching to a minor key to take the song in a new direction, dropping to a near-whisper for dramatic effect. Each song has its own subtle majesty. She's probably an obsessive perfectionist in the studio, but everyone involved can probably forgive her when the result is this unforgettable.
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