Emma Lee “Never Just a Dream” (Special Agent Records/Bumstead, 2009)
Toronto torch songs
Seems there’s a huge amount of classy female singers around these days ranging from the sultry tones of Norah Jones to the ersatz sixties soul of Amy Winehouse and Duffy. Toronto based Emma Lee could easily join this pantheon on the strength of this debut. Pulling more to the supper club jazz inflections of Jones, at the times she is reminiscent of k. d. lang in torch mode or even eighties songstress Mathilde Santing. Smoky guitar opens the album with “Bruise Easy” as Emma Lee husks in a sultry fashion, images of a foggy fifties London, Strand cigarettes and Julie London come into mind here. “Never Just A Dream “ tries to slink along a la Billie Holiday while there is a fragile edge to “Flow” which could have been the best song here with just piano and understated strings ebbing under her voice however the emotive swells towards the end spoil the mood. Overall very smooth, but ultimately I think that this very polished material is unlikely to excite many readers here.
Date review added: Sunday, March 08, 2009
Reviewer: Paul Kerr
Related web link: artist site