Thursday, July 5, 2018

CD Review //
Jill Barber
(Outside Music) //

Right away, with the song "The Woman", as this CD opens you will hear the unique voice and brooding drumbeats of Jill Barber.    In some ways, this reminds me of Fleetwood Mac, but in a modern sense, and yet it can also channel that Elle King "Ex's & Oh's" song as well.   It's a powerful way to start "Metaphora", to really bring in the listener and have them feel as if they want more.   It at least worked for me.

"Girl's Gotta Do" is a more upbeat anthem for equality between men and women.   There is a modern take on a classic sound here and through the first two songs the drums really play the largest role.    It isn't until the third song we hear some magical synth pop and in a lighter sense the guitars begin to take control.  "Bigger Than You" has the vibes of a song like "No Scrubs" and "Mercy" is a piano driven ballad that ties the center of the album together nicely.

Vocally, there are elements of Cyndi Lauper and No Doubt throughout and on "Clumsy Heart" we have a little bit of that "Best Day Of My Life" (American Authors) feel.   "Love Is" reminds me of "I Try To Say Goodbye" (Macy Gray) and by the last song, "Hold On", it has that x Ambassadors feel to it.   In some ways I like to think of this as a compilation- in the sense that you would say "Here are these nine songs by other artists as covered by Jill Barber", but I think that just speaks to the overall versatile nature of "Metaphora".

Most of the time with artists I'm hearing (and reviewing) for the first time it comes down to "Oh, you sound like this plus this with a little bit of this".   You know, maybe a song or two will change things up but for the most part I will try and pull out three or four core influences.   With Jill Barber, her core influences in that regard change from song to song.   It adds this entirely new dimension to her music.

  Even though I mentioned it feels like a compilation, that Jill Barber sound, that sound which makes these songs go back to her name is what makes this feel like they are not a compilation because they are all her own.  They are just tied together so well.   If an artist set out to create an album of covers and craft existing songs into their own style it still wouldn't have this flow, this sense of connection that "Metaphora" has and that is perhaps the strongest quality to take away here.

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