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Monday, April 28, 2014

Leslie DiNicola - Some Greener Yard

Leslie DiNicola - Some Greener Yard
2013, Leslie DiNicola

Leslie DiNicola is a New York City-based singer/songwriter who writes soul-baring lyrics with a universal perspective.  Over time, DiNicola has receiving comparisons to such divergent artists as Janis Joplin and Alison Krauss.  She’s worked with the likes of Ron Allaire (Keith Richards, Madonna, David Bowie, Shakira); Julian Coryell (Aimee Mann, Leonard Cohen, Jewel, Alanis Morisette) and others.  DiNicola’s latest EP, Some Greener Yard, is her second with Coryell at the helm, and features some of her most personal songwriting to date.

DiNicola launches with "Shaky Wire", an aptly titled lead considering DiNicola is skating a fine and uncomfortably navigated line between country and rock here. The music is adeptly crafted, but there's a bit too much vibrato and tonal uncertainty in DiNicola's voice for this to be convincing. The vocals are much more stable on "Give Me Away", a middle of the road country/pop number full of melancholy. "Stay" shows more energy and a memorable chorus, but the vocal issues noted in the opening track return as DiNicola moves into her upper register. "Weight" tries to be a heart breaker, exploring the self-exploration following heartbreaking in reciprocal loops. The melody is pleasant enough, but the musical recidivism is tiring. DiNicola closes out with a meandering ballad that pales at its own energy and pacing.

Leslie DiNicola displays an affable voice with manageable weaknesses on Some Greener Yard. Unfortunately she tends to choose slow, languorous ballads that highlight the weaknesses rather than material more appropriate to her sound. The EP is fraught with slow, low energy moments that just don't do DiNicola justice.

Rating: 2 Stars (Out of 5)

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