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6 SONGS REVIEWS

Lisa's Song + 6 Songs
Sophia Gurley, The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music (USA)
August, 2006

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Comments:

"Lisa's Song" is a beautiful, powerful song for a young woman, Lisa Marie Young, who went missing from Nanaimo, B.C. in June 2002, and proceeds from the sale of the CD go to help fund the search for her. Unlike other songs I've heard written for such occasions, this is a real song, and not a clichéd, didactic, flat tirade—this is a song worth listening to for itself and not just its message. "Fade Away" is a quieter song, though still urgent as are all Allison Crowe's songs. "Midnight" swings from gentle, optimistic verse to full-out impassioned chorus. "Crayon and Ink" has a yearning beginning, again breaking into a passionate conclusions, as does "Dark Blue". "Scared" is brave enough to start quietly, to build and then again to fade. "Philosophy" starts and ends with the most insistent kind of percussion—a fitting backdrop for the extravagant gymnastics of Allison Crowe's vocals here. Overall, this is an amazingly strong debut. (sophiagurley@hotmail.com)

Tidings, 6 Songs+
Derrick Marr, Great White Noise (Canada)
Monday, February 9, 2004

6 Songs + is as good an introduction to an artist as you are ever going to get. Allison Crowe (vocals/piano), together with Dave Baird (electric and acoustic bass) and Kevin Clevette (drums and percussions) have recorded a CD rich with lyrical content in which Allison has managed to merge writing skills with vocals that cover every note on the scale, and probably some that aren’t. Musically, the trio is as tight as any I have heard, each rendering a flawless performance.

There will be the obvious comparisons to the songs styles of Sarah McLachlan, and, in truth, there are similarities, but that in no way should be taken as meaning there is any intentional formula following. It is simply the case of two women with beautiful voices sharing a passion for a somewhat laid back, jazz based style of pop rock.

Born in Nanaimo B.C., also coincidently the hometown of Diana Krall, Allison was exposed to music from a very young age. She quickly developed a love of jazz music and by the age of 15 found herself playing to audiences up and down Vancouver Island.

Tidings is a similar listening experience, this time wrapped pleasantly in the guise of a Christmas CD. The songs selected and recorded for this disc, however, ensure that it is far more than simply something listened to once or twice a year. Combining traditional Christmas classics such as Silent Night and O Holy Night, with lesser known or thought of works such as Hallellujah, In The Bleak Midwinter and Shine A Light, and even a version of the non-Christmas, yet inspirational Sarah McLachlan hit Angel, Allison has released a CD that is a pleasure to listen to both during the Yule season and any other time of the year.

True “vocalists” are seldom stumbled across in this age of nu-metal, hip-hop, rap, or any of the other multitude of genre fragments. Sometimes it seems like the art of writing a good song is lost. In the rush to get the next all-elusive hit, many talents have fallen by the wayside and have perhaps forgotten what started them on this path in the first place. To date it seems like Allison has held true to her origins. Only time will tell if this remains the case, but personally I’m thinking there are going to be many, many more insightful and beautiful songs emerging from within the young lady from Nanaimo.

The best local CDs of 2003
Nanaimo News Bulletin (Canada)
Monday, December 22, 2003

Tired of Top 40? Then consider... 

Pop/Rock
Allison Crowe
Lisa’s Song+ 6 Songs

Allison Crowe first played Lisa's Song at a candlelight vigil for her missing friend, Lisa Marie Young. Shedding her initial shyness over the tribute, Crowe has re-recorded it and released it and six other songs as a fundraiser for the continuing search for Young. Lisa's Song has distinguished itself as one of Crowe's finest - a powerful and emotional song matched equally by Crowe's incredible vocals.

 

 

6 Songs+
Amy Lotsberg, Collected Sounds (USA)
October 8, 2002

The first track on CD will not blow you away; in fact, you may not even be able to hear it very well. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but the sound is mixed so low that it's almost inaudible.

The second track "Midnight" however, will blow you away. This song is as good as any Vanessa Carlton song and in fact reminds me a tad of her vocally. I guess that's why it is on the CD twice, the second time being labeled, "the single".

The Allison takes it down to a more lyrical and flowing tone with "Crayon and Ink". A beautiful song that showcases both her voice and her piano playing, both excellent.

This is a solid debut and a very good way to get attention in the music industry, which she seems to have happened since she's been noticed by MTV Canada where she has appeared performing her song, "Crayon and Ink" in October 4, 2002.

 

Voice could take Allison Crowe to the next level
Duncan Clark, Associate Editor, Kamloops Daily News (Canada)
July 2002

Allison Crowe, if she were signed to a major label, would fit in well with a music trend of the moment - she’s young, has a great voice and writes her own songs.

Crowe, like it girls Avril Lavigne and Vanessa Carlton, writes about love heartbreak, and her songs give her every opportunity to show off that soulful voice.

But B.C. artist Crowe, who performed recently in Kamloops, is not signed to a major label, and admirably goes it alone on her independently released EP 6 Songs.

Crowe is more Carlton than Lavigne on 6 Songs, but the B.C. artist really sounds like a cross between Fiona Apple and Jewel.

6 Songs rarely goes up-tempo, so this is definitely a CD for a certain melancholy, low-key, mood. This is a fault - Crowe’s voice, with plenty of range, rarely gets a chance to sound like it’s having fun like it should.

Still, Crowe shows plenty of promise. Her piano compositions fit perfectly with her melodies and singing, and her backup performers provide great accompaniment - they know they’re not the stars, Crowe is.

It can be a long way from B.C. to the big time, but if Crowe wants to get there, one gets a feeling the concept is anything but out of the question.

 

NEW GUEST ARTIST: ALLISON CROWE
jeweljk.com (Official Website of Jewel Kilcher - USA)
May 26, 2002

Allison is featured as guest artist on Jewel’s website, in a section "dedicated to folks we love. We're sure you'll love them, too. They've all been slathered with generous portions of talent, heart, soul — so what's not to love?" Here's what the site says:

Beautifully moody or riotously rocking, Allison Crowe creates piano-based music of transcendent quality. A 20 year old singer/songwriter based in British Columbia, her voice, poetic and haunting, is a modern original. Allison is reaching new audiences this year with her debut album, ‘midnight syren.’ She’s been called ‘a mega-talent in the making’ and her music is a testament to the power of the human voice and spirit.

***NEW GUEST ARTIST: ALLISON CROWE

Once again, it's our great pleasure to invite you to experience a new guest artist at www.jeweljk.com. Our newest musician to be featured is emerging singer-songwriter Allison Crowe, a Canadian from Nanaimo, British Columbia. Although Allison is young and yet to release her first full-length album, she caught my attention, because not only was her voice captivating, I found her songwriting to have remarkable depth. Her voice, poetic and haunting, is a modern original at the same time as it recalls rock's greats of the '60s and '70s.

Much like the way many people felt upon hearing Jewel during her InnerChange days, when listening to Allison's music, one recognizes the obvious great potential there and feels lucky to be experiencing her at this point in time. She's been called "a mega-talent in the making" and her music is a testament to the power of the human voice and spirit.

We invite you to learn more about Allison and experience her music for yourself. From the main navigation page on www.jeweljk.com, click "favorites." This will bring you to our newest guest artist feature.

If you've yet to investigate this area of Jewel's web site, we highly recommend that you do! After checking out Allison's feature, spend some time in our guest artist archive. You will discover many other great artists, both emerging and established, who might not get the press attention they deserve, but are nonetheless, extremely worthy of your attention. -MrBB

Artist of the Week: Allison Crowe
Canadian-Music.com (Canada)
March 9, 2002

"Falling somewhere between Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple, B.C. native Allison Crowe's career is in an upward swing. An extremely gifted classically trained artist Allison has much to offer. Check out the beautifully moody Crayons And Ink ("10 out of 10") off the 6 Songs CD."

 

 

Vicki Gabereau, Gabereau TV Talk Show (Canada)
January 28, 2002

"Ain't she something! Allison Crowe. She has a debut CD called '6 Songs'. You don't sound like anybody else, honey. Nobody sounds like you."

 

Nanaimo's Allison Crowe Releases A CD
Terry Denomme, The Harbour City Star (Canada)
Saturday, October 27, 2001

Many comparisons will be made concerning Nanaimo’s Allison Crowe. Some will say her voice has a dreamy quality reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan or Beth Orton. When she really wails you might be tempted to think about Janis Joplin. Make your own comparisons, then forget them.

There is a reason why this diminutive singer/songwriter with the big, big voice sold out her show Friday night at the Bailey Theatre and will be performing again tonight. She can flat out sing, as her first disc, 6 Songs, will attest. She also plays piano, wrote and composed all the songs and designed the cover art. She opens the disc with the soulful Fade Away and ends with the jumping Philosophy. Not long ago you could see her play for free at The Queens. Those days are over. A passionate, polished disc.

 

CD REVIEWS
Allison Crowe - 6 Songs.
Katrina Sark, The Martlet (Canada)
October 10, 2001

Strong voice. A skillful hand running over the piano keys. Jazzy bass. Drum beat that makes your body want to move. 6 Songs is a glimpse of a rosy dawn over the ocean when driving along Dallas Road. It is the turquoise water mingling the pebbles. It is also the dark blue water clear by midnight. This is the image you get at first sight. At second glance you see two worlds - the dreamy world of oceans, skies, hope and fantasy - and the other world, resembling reality, filled with thoughts, feelings, expectations, even anger.

Somewhere a broken heart, sometime a star falling, somehow finding a path. It's a glimpse worth taking if you are one of those people who get moved by sunsets, the sound of the waves, and ocean breeze. So plunge in. Allison Crowe is performing in Victoria on October 13 at the Victoria Conservatory of Music (907 Pandora Avenue) at 8 p.m. (Drive along Dallas just before the show and take a glimpse - you will see what I mean.)

 

 

Amazon.com (buyer) reviews:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Allison Crowe is incredible!, December 12, 2007
Reviewer: xlucent (USA) ***** (five stars)

I could try to go into details about what it is that makes this album so incredible. I could try but I would fail. Listen to the samples and hear for yourself. Better yet, download the mp3 of Allison singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" from Amazon and listen to it. Allison Crowe is an incredibly talented songwriter with a voice that moves smoothly from crystalline purity to wailing blues in a way that seems completely natural and unforced. Buy this album. Buy all her albums. You'll find yourself listening to them over and over too.