Ellen Woloshin "Water Into Wine" (58th Street Records, 2010)
NY songstress fills her glass
New York songsmith Ellen Woloshin decided to forego a career as a trained classical musician to follow her incredibly successful father into the advertising and jingle-writing trade. If you live stateside it’s fair to say that some Woloshin penned ditty has, without permission, permeated your conscience at some point during your life. Since then she has penned songs for Dionne Warwick and laToya Jackson amongst others.
‘Water into Wine’, Woloshin’s second-coming as a solo artist, is aimed squarely at the MOR market it seems fair to say. Lush, well constructed piano-led ballads, With traces of jazz, and Woloshin’s soft, warm, and incredibly likeable upfront lend these spacious songs some amiable charm. Her songs have an unhurried, thoughtful and mature perspective, rich in melody and nuance, and on occasions strongly reminiscent of prime period Carole King (‘Making My Way Back (To Free) and ‘Where Does All the Time Go’ in particular. Elsewhere, the likes of ‘In My Dream ‘ and ‘Let It Go Now’ aim at Norah Jones territory, though possessing a touch too much melodic interest to simply be wallpaper music for dinner parties.
‘Don’t Talk To Me That Way’ could be the album’s best song, with a little trace of Aimee Mann’s melodic nous and loping rock rhythm. That her original material is so sturdy, it’s surprising that we get a fairly straight plod through McCartney’s ‘We Can Work it Out’, which seems utterly superfluous. The safe maturity in the writing, and soft sheen of production can also add up to a few cloying sentiments and radio 2-friendly soundscapes (You Break My Fall), despite their apparent sincerity.
‘Water Into Wine’ isn’t quite as miraculous as the titular suggestion; its more a pleasing soft, warming merlot than a weighty robust sauvignon. It’s certainly a solid display from a talented artist, who with the right luck could have the world at her feet.
Date review added: Friday, August 06, 2010
Reviewer: Ian Fildes
Related web link: the wine list