Amy Lotsberg, Collected Sounds
Saturday, November 29, 2003
Well, I've been looking forward to this release since I heard about it. So when it arrived I immediately popped it into the car stereo and within moments I was close to tears. The opening track is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". I've never heard Cohen's version, but I have heard Jeff Buckley's and I have to say it's one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I am happy to report that Allison Crowe does it justice and then some. Her voice will give you chills. If it doesn't, check your pulse, you may not be alive. It's incredibly moving.
The whole EP is beautiful. I'd never heard "In the Bleak Midwinter" before but it's gorgeous. Crowe's voice is extremely powerful and strong. I hear her and think 'how does she do that?' She's a gifted young lady for sure.
Now if you've read my review of Sarah McLachlan's "Afterglow" you know I am a self-proclaimed Sarah Geek. But that doesn't mean I have a problem with other artists covering her songs. Except when drunk girls sing them at Karaoke.
Allison's version of McLachlan's "Angel" is very powerful. Where Sarah is sweet and pleading Allison is gutsy and forceful. The track is great... up until the last few seconds when it becomes a bit of a "Christina moment" (I'm a firm believer in 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should'.) The instrumentation stops and it's just her voice, holding a note forever and then almost scatting. I know some will love it, but it actually detracts from the song, for me. But that's a minor issue in what is otherwise a very quality EP.
If you're looking for a good stocking stuffer for the pop piano
lover on your list, this is perfect.