Gina Morris, E.O.M. (Evolution of Media)
Friday, December 10, 2004
Allison Crowe is a versatile singer/songwriter from Canada who has recorded a fine Christmas album, Tidings. The possessor of a powerful voice that evokes Eva Cassidy and Laura Nyro simultaneously, Allison sings the hell out of this collection of traditional and non-traditional yuletide classics.
What's great about this album is that while some of the usual Christmas song suspects are here--"Silent Night", "The First Noel", "O Holy Night"--there are also some inspired choices, like the Beatles' "Let It Be" and "In My Life" and the Rolling Stones' "Shine A Light", that aren't Christmas songs but fit the spiritual-ness of the occasion. And with just her voice and skillful piano playing, Allison gets right to the heart of these songs with a clarity lacking in many singers today; although, she does give "Shine A Light" a suitably rocking treatment and adds bass and drums to "O Holy Night", it's the piano/voice combo that impresses.
With Tidings, Allison Crowe proves that she is a singer
worth keeping an ear out for and, in addition, she has produced one
of the least sentimental, and highly listenable Christmas themed
albums of recent times. Oh, and her debut album of original songs, Secrets,
is pretty nifty too.