Houston Music

Melissa Adams

Don't blame Bob Dylan for this CD, or James Taylor or Joni Mitchell. It's not their fault that sometime during the 1960s and 1970s the singer-songwriter genre became popular. The conceit goes a little something like this: My life, thoughts and inspirations should be heard in song. So I'm going to play and sing them. And the world should listen.

Not all of it has been bad. In fact, a wealth of wonderful songs has arisen from the simple idea that self-penned, folk-based music is a worthy pursuit. Sadly, the obvious sincerity and earnestness behind Houston singer-songwriter Melissa Adams's Firefly can't help redeem her mediocre tunes. Her husky voice is, at best, okay, and the melodies and arrangements are, like Adams's lyrics, hopelessly clichéd. The mood of this whole affair is subdued to the point of soporific.

Is it cruel to wonder what the point of this venture is? Adams no doubt has some friends, fans and peers who find something to like in her music. And that's a good thing. In fact, one of the beauties of music is that there's an audience for almost everything. Yet the aesthetic problem remains: This may not be bad music, but it isn't very good, or in the slightest way special or distinctive. Some stuff is best left played in the living room, around the campfire or at amateur open-mike nights. This is that sort of stuff.

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Rob Patterson