CD REVIEW: JUDITH OWEN – Somebody’s Child

Label: Twanky Records

Release Date: March 3, 2017

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Judith Owen has pulled together a legendary supporting cast including Russell Kunkel, Leland Sklar, and Waddy Watchel to support her latest effort, which is chock full of tunes that make you think, get your foot tapping, and are pleasing to the ear and soul.  Disc opener and title track “Somebody’s Child” is a song that pulls at the head and heart equally, while appealing to the musical side of the listener with a piano counterpart to the lyrics and vocals that helps drive home the message being delivered.  “Send Me A Line” kicks the tempo up and the seriousness down all while bringing a funky groove that gets the body moving and the foot tapping.  The fun vibe of this song gives the disc a lofty sound that builds from song to song.  “Tell All Your Children” is a cool track that has a rich jazz sound woven through it, thanks to the piano and guitar dance that takes place from the opening note until the last.  The rhythm section is solid and anchors the song.  “No More Goodbyes” takes a moment to mellow the flow of the collection with a song that speaks to the heart.  The emotionally charged vocals perfectly carry the message of the song.  “More Than This” is a cool song that has crossover written all over it.  The piano sound is pop-infused without getting campy or cheesy.  The vocals scream to be heard on any AC radio station.  “I Know Why The Sun Shines” comes off dark and smoldering with the piano and percussion opening, but the minute Owen tosses her vocals into the mix, we are treated to another track that benefits from her approach to the material.  “The Rain Is Gonna Fall” is a track that stood out vocally for me, with key and tempo changes that grabbed my attention and held it captive while driving a catchy chorus through my brain.  Be sure to listen to the way the piano and other instrumentation swell and build in unison Judith the perfect foundation to sing over.

“Mystery” is a beautiful track that comes to life sweetly and slowly, thanks to the ebb and flow of the piano and vocals that seem to complement each other without overtaking the sound and feel of the other in the mix.  “We Give In” kicks off with a chugging bass line that carries the track from the starting line on through the finish.  The vocals are different from other tracks on the disc, but fits within the parameters of the other songs on the collection.  This song was built for a live performance, thanks to the full sound of the horns and other players in the mix.  “Arianne” is another song that seems to deviate slightly from the other tracks, but the jazz rhythm woven into the musical tapestry gives this track a heavier sound that seems to come to life when the layered vocals hit at the bridge.  “That’s Why I Love My Baby” opens with cool jazz licks on the guitar and is soon swirling with piano and vocals that build the sound of the song without getting overpowering.  The vocals have a sultry feel to them that gives the song a dollop of smoky jazz mixed with a classic feel.  “Josephine” showcases different vocals from Judith, as she flexes the lower register of her voice throughout the song, while bringing her piano together with the other players on the track.  A different take on the classic “Aquarius” unfolds and gives us a glimpse into the musical heart of Owen.  This version features cool guitar noodling and a bass line that chugs in the background all while the percussion keeps the tempo of the track consistent.  Be sure to check out the bonus tracks, especially the playful “Row & Row” which features some killer strings and some of the best piano work on the disc.

Tracklisting: Somebody’s Child – Send Me A Line – Mystery – Tell All Your Children – We Give In – No More Goodbyes – Arianne – More Than This – That’s Why I Love My Baby – I Know Why The Sun Shines – Josephine – Aquarius – The Rain Is Gonna Fall

Bonus Tracks: Row & Row – Shiny Houses

JUDITH OWEN LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

SOMEBODY’S CHILD – ITUNES

CD REVIEW: JUDITH OWEN - Somebody's Child

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