Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sunny California

A local gal done good:

Inara George All Rise (Everloving)

A sunny Californian folk pop album straight outta Topanga Canyon, reflecting the earlier wave California folk pop from the likes of Aimee Mann or Jackson Browne, but with the melancholy of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake tacked on to balance it out quite nicely. Inara George (formerly of Lode and Merrick), who has a charming girlish voice which also carries a slight huskiness to it, has released her first solo effort consisting of pretty songs with a bit of bite. All Rise is a collection of clever lyrics and simple arrangements to accompany them. At times intense (the opening “Mistress”), and at times torchy (her sly cover of Joe Jackson’s “Fools In Love”), her songs are always pleasant and catchy and easy on the ears. It’s only later that you realize she may have been singing about something a little less than nice… “I don’t want to be one more paper doll that’s blown all through the town like this,” she claims on “Turn On/ Off,” declaring her individuality and her frustration with those around her, and as the child of a cult rock hero (Lowell George of Little Feat) and veteran of critically lauded indie rock bands, one could understand why. Her debut is an endearingly intelligent take on the singer/songwriter genre, and takes it just a little beyond.