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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Annie Dressner - East Twenties

Annie Dressner – East Twenties
2013, Annie Dressner
New York City ex-pat Annie Dressner returns on April 8, 2013 with her sophomore release, and EP entitled East Twenties.  The follow-up to the 2009 full-length Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names furthers Dressner’s highly personal style songwriting style, but shows growth both in musicality and maturity.  Her view of heartaches historical and fresh is compelling, told with a depth of understanding, and occasionally, remorse.
“Heartbreaker” is an interesting musical study.  Sung as a folk ballad, Dressner revisits a childhood friendship in what turns out to be a commentary on bad timing.  He was in love with her then; it wasn’t until years later that she felt the same, but it was too late.  The humanity in this song is compelling, and Dressner’s little girl/big girl voice only makes it more distinctive.  This is brilliant songwriting; deeply autobiographical and from the heart.  “I Can’t Forget” is cut from the same cloth, although the loss here is a mortal one.  Regrets, what ifs and a deep, abiding sorrow fill in the gaps here.  Dressner’s delivery is smooth and heartfelt, and reminiscent in tone to Don McLean’s “Vincent”.  “Flame” wistfully explores the death of trust and innocence.  This is a bit more elemental than the other songs on East Twenties, and Dressner gets a big bogged down in the middle.  The songwriting is solid, but the energy just doesn’t hold through the middle.  “Lost In A Car” perhaps revisits the same soul and heart as “I Can’t Forget”, and Dressner’s wishes have a ‘nevermore’ quality that pulls at the listener.  This is a moment of beauty, carved in the rocky shores of sadness.
Annie Dressner has taken strides forward in the past four years as a songwriter.  Her compelling, heart-laid-bare story telling style engages the listener on a personal level, like an old friend pouring their heart out over coffee.  Dressner does occasionally get caught under the weight of her material, but there’s a lot to like here.  Make a date with Annie Dressner for East Twenties.  You’ll find it an experience to remember.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
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