Review: Nataly Dawn – (Her Earlier Stuff)

I imagine this is how it must have been for a music addict in the 30s, 40s, and 50s –discovering that one voice on the radio that you immediately recognize as being that unique and that perfect. Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday … and now we can add Nataly Dawn to the list of classic crooners.

I fell down the Pomplamoose well after catching some vids of theirs on YouTube–specifically “Centrifuge.” Just an amazing video by an incredible band. Of course, the inevitable web-searching began to find out where they frequent online. I quickly found their Facebook page and their Twitter account. Well, ha ha. Guess what. Nataly AND Jack each not only have their own Twitter accounts, but they each also have their own incredible solo material. Nataly has a less extensive discography than does Jack, but that’s fine–give her time!

This CD was released in 2009, so I’m sure there probably a bunch of other reviews out there, but whatever. I like it, so I’m reviewing it.

If there’s one thing to be said about her voice, it’s that it is as intoxicating as the most potent wine. Like caviar for your tastebuds or a Renoir for your eyes, Nataly’s voice is pure exquisiteness. Gentle, mild, and addicting.

For the most part, Nataly sticks with her guitar, though there are some songs where the music branches out into other instruments. “Waking Up” finds her playing a piano (or at least a keyboard). “Hope,” with Ben Burdick, uses bass and harmonicas. “Save Me” uses a menagerie of instruments and is utterly haunting … I think mostly in part to the bass, which has this semi-eerie quality to it. You can hear the classical guitars dueling as well. At least they sound like nylon strings. I could be wrong. The deep, rumbings of Mr. Burdick also had a meloncholiness to the song.

“My Hands Burn” is an acapella tune that employs multiple tracks for Nataly to harmonize with herself. The effect is beautiful. To be fair, she does this on a lot of her tracks (and in Pomplamoose as well). I like it, though I imagine it’d be hard to reproduce the harmonics in a concert setting. 🙂

Stand-out tracks.

“A Happy Song” – Love that it sound like it was recorded on a tape recorder. This recording method is employed on a lot of the tracks, but this is the first one on the CD where you notice it. And she used the word “endoscopies”!! You HAVE to love that. “you can be whatever you want to be. i will be on your side. and when we’re having endoscopies and gumming our jello, we’ll survive. there;s not much to this fixation. feels like vacation. if only real life could be this fun.” 

“Save Me” is A haunting tune that shows the span of how much we rely on others to comfort us. Some slightly religious overtones … maybe I’m reaching here, but it sounds like it. There are other religious nods throughout the CD, but this one is more … covert? for wont of a better term?

“Baise M’encore” is a musical interpretation of French poet Louise Labe’s 16th century sonnet “Baise m’encor, rebaise-moi et baise.” I don’t know if it’s a cover or not, but her execution of the language would have you believe that she is a Parisian native (and of course there’s a good reason for this, ha ha).

The Right Decision – I like it because I’ve struggled with a lot of these similar “escapes.” I’ve found some work better than others–definitely not the drugs. I don’t mean that as a “wink wink, nudge nudge.” I really mean it. I don’t see drug use as a viable escape, but I will never judge anyone for not wanting TO escape and turning to drugs to do so. Sometimes, life can be just that insanely difficult; who am I to criticize someone for wanting to feel better and “escape”?

Well, listen … (ha ha! Get it? See what I did there?!) this is definitely one for the CD shelf–digital or otherwise. I don’t know if you can actually order a physical CD, but I would sure love this sitting on my shelf. As it is, I’ve purchased it from iTunes, and I’m happy with that. Whatever you do, just GET THIS CD!!

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