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Monday, November 7, 2011

Carley Tanchon - Leave The Light On

Carley Tanchon - Leave The Light On
2011, Carley Tanchon

New York-based singer/songwriter Carley Tanchon has made her success the old fashioned way.  She’s earned it with relentless touring and hard work.  The Cleveland, Ohio native has lived in Boston and Nashville, with a side-trip to Australia, but settled in NYC in 2010.  For her latest album, Leave The Light On, Tanchon enlisted the production and songwriting assistance of Felix McTeigue (Lucy Wainwright-Roche, Katharine McPhee, Madi Diaz, Anais Mitchell).  The result is a mixed blessing, with Tanchon finding a solid sound but getting too caught up in her own musical safety zone.

Leave The Light On opens with "Missing You", a regretful, down-tempo pop ballad that finds Tanchon yearning for someone from the past. Tanchon has a pleasant voice, although she sounds a bit breathy on the higher notes here. "The Great Unknown" is an apologist, multi-level love song, written in a classic singer/songwriter style. Tanchon gives an intriguing vocal performance here, and the emotional Diaspora that characterizes the song is amazingly clear. "I Guess I Know" is a soulful pop number, stripped down and wide open in arrangement. Tanchon's voice inhabits the middle as if it was born there, and the funky rhythm that underlies it all will get your toes tapping.

After a strong start, Tanchon settles into a comfortable zone that's aurally appealing but doesn't really stand out, and stays there for much of the rest of the album. "Blues In C (Fearlessly)", is a minor exception, and the almost country strains of "Walk Away" are appealing. Tanchon is almost at albums end with "On The Road" before she breaks out of her rut with the almost peppy, yet absolutely catchy tune. Tanchon takes her leave with "Love Will", an optimistic love song that's solid enough, although once again Tanchon struggles a bit with her tone when she ascends the scale.

Carley Tanchon gives fair effort on Leave The Light On, but gets too bogged down in a sense of musical complacency that is likely to wear on the listener. Tanchon starts strong, but just cannot maintain the momentum across the full album. Even in the lull the album suffers in the middle, Tanchon's voice is enjoyable as long as she doesn't try to go too far up the scale. This is a solid effort that is pleasing to the ear but never really distinguishes itself from the pack of indie singer/songwriters.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more at or The Light On is available digitally via iTunes, or on hard copy directly from Carley Tanchon.

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