Keren Ann

How anyone could not fall for Keren Ann is beyond me; she's charmingly humble, and, so far, she's ever so confident in her Feistian approach to bare-bones songwriting. Her third stateside release, Keren Ann is a slight departure from her stark offerings of the past. She's still wispy in a Hope Sandoval sort of way, but she's obviously conscious about not making the same old record, year in and year out. What's immediately noticeable is the blurring of folk and jazz styles, much more so than in the past. She even throws a few electronics and electric guitars into the mix, which provides some depth to the tunes, as well as a few psychedelic sounds here and there. Okay, so the subject matter isn't the most uplifting — mostly, this is a collection of gut-wrenching love songs, culminating with one of the album's best — “Liberty,” an almost dream-like piano tune that is cryptic and haunting, repetitive and serenading. You might initially be drawn to Keren Ann for its introspection and genuineness; you'll keep listening because it's mesmerizing.


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