Album review

Tracy Bonham 

Masts of Manhatta

added: 3 Jul 2010 // release date: 5 Jul 2010 // label: Lojinx
reviewer: Newsdesk 

Tracy Bonham - Masts of Manhatta - Printable version
Its been around 5 years since we saw anything from Tracy Bonham but the result is more than worth the wait – this is lovely.

She has always been an able songwriter and her violin playing is fine but the songs on this album are really mature and well crafted as well as being a hell of a lot of fun.

‘Devil’s Got Your Boyfriend’ gets the album off in a great mood with faintly kletzmer-esque feel over a jazzy bass, brush drums and her latinate vocals with a wry sense of humour.
Leading into ‘Your Night Is Open’ takes the listener to a totally different place; very closed in and close with her crooning over a simple acoustic guitar before a cello brings the mood even darker – altogether an enchanting listen.
‘Big Red Heart’ then goes somewhere else again as she moves into country rock territory.

It is these changes and variations that really make the album something special. She lives in the city – Brooklyn - but she records in the country – Woodstock – and her music seems to act as a bridge between the sassy and knowing side and the bucolic and contemplative. Not an easy trick but she makes it works with real style.

All through the album there are little nuances and clever twists and she keeps the listeners guessing as to what will be around the corner. My favourites are ‘Josephine’, a little takle of a girl lost to a 'Carnie' and the gorgeous ‘We Moved Our City To The Country’ - city suburbanites making the country into their city - or 'Reciprocal Feelings' which reminds me af all that is best about thoughtfully made music and you couldn’t really find three more different numbers but that is her charm.

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4 stars

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