Friday, July 4, 2008
CD Review: Amy Speace - Songs For Bright Street
Amy Speace – Songs For Bright Street
2006, Wildflower Records
What I find impossible to believe is that I have not heard of Amy Speace before now. To think that an album like Songs For Bright Street has been out on the market for two full years and has not been written up/played/trumpeted on every available bit of popular media is unthinkable. Amy Speace is an inimitable talent, and Songs For Bright Street is a masterpiece.
Let’s get the comparisons out of the way. Yes, there is a vocal resemblance to Rosanne Cash, but as a songwriter Amy Speace is non-pareil. Delving into the heartbreak and melancholy of country music with a folk/rock sensibility and a class and reserve reflective of the best of Alison Krauss, Amy Speace has created an album full of classic tunes that cannot be ignored or denied.
The Real Thing is the sort of country/rock anthem that should support Ms. Speace for the rest of her life. It has a universality and classic feel to it that should make it covered by other artists for generations to come (ala These Boots Are Made For Walkin’). Step Out Of The Shade is the sort of feel-good song that tends to do very well on country/pop radio these days. The song itself is outstanding, and pales in comparison to much of the remaining material on Songs For Bright Street. Two is the sort of song that gets chosen as first-dance material at country-themed weddings, and is quite simple, a beautiful ballad.
Other highlights include Make Me Lonely Again, Shed This Skin, Right Through To Me and Double Wide Trailer. Songs For Bright Street closes out with the pensive Home, which serves as an exclamation point on Speace’s lyric ability. The fact is that Amy Speace is one of the most exquisite talents I’ve had the pleasure to review thus far. As a songwriter I would put her in a class with the likes of Jason Plumb, Lyle Lovett or Randy Newman.
Songs For Bright Street is a Desert Island Disc. In a perfect world Amy Speace could buy all the desert islands she wanted from the proceeds of this disc. If you don’t own this album then you can’t think of your music collection as being complete. Songs For Bright Street gets Wildy’s World’s highest recommendation.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about Amy Speace at www.amyspeace.com. You can purchase a copy of Songs For Bright Street at www.cdbaby.com/amyspeace3, at Amazon.com, or as download through iTunes.