Her voice is silky smooth, yet dramatically powerful. It [her voice] is soft while possessing a grit that can hold the listener hostage. In addition to her talent as a performer, each song has a complexity about it that highlights her songwriting abilities.
For instance, “Half Moon” displays a gritty side, while also possessing a sultriness you do not often hear successfully combined with grit. The listener can feel the excitement the lyrics emanate. They [lyrics] paint a portrait of dissimilarity - a love that has grown or is growing apart, ultimately approaching and reaching its conclusion. It is an empowering tune as evidenced by the protagonist seemingly conquering all ill emotions and coming through on top. A tune loaded repeatedly with contrasts that take the listener on a roller-coaster ride of sorts, of untainted passion.
At first, when I read the comparisons to other artists, meant to entice you into listening to her record, I was a little turned off. I’ll probably catch a little flack for this comment, but I have never been a Tori Amos fan. To me, she has always lacked the punch necessary to hold my attention. If you love Tori, that is perfectly within your right. She just ain’t for me. However, Ms. Robertson possesses that “punch”, and hooked me from the very first tune, “You and Me”, all the way to (and especially) the last tune, “Whiskey and Cigarettes”.
On the latter, she displays a power in her exquisite voice that I have only heard in artists such as Traci Nelson, and more recently, Carolyn Wonderland. It’s a bluesy little ditty, and probably the least complicated song on the record, yet, is probably my favorite tune. It surely says something for keeping it simple.
I do not want that to take away from the rest of this wonderfully produced album though. It is eloquently produced, recorded, and mixed by Chris Cubeta. His expertise in the behind the scenes elements of the record help it all to come together as one cohesive piece of art for the ears.
Mr. Cubeta also helped in the arrangements, played guitar, bass, piano, and percussion; Greg Tuohey-arrangements and guitars; Ryan Vaughn on drums/percussion, Jim McNamara on the upright bass, Paul Basile –vocals on “The Travelers”, and finally Mark Lord plays bass on “Whiskey and Cigarettes”.
Jessi Robetson’s “Small Town Girls is out now - ‘Rebel’ Rod says to check it out.