Review: Leona Naess

Leona Naess
(MCA Records)

It’s so soft and pretty, I can hardly keep the rainy Sunday shivers away as I listen calmly. The album begins with a warm hum of a track called, “Lazy Days” that is mostly a shuffling cymbal, a kids keyboard and Leona Naess proclaiming, “Wide eyed and stupid, I’m waiting for the arrows of cupid (your love)”. Endearing and put together with a subtle charm. Now, why she couldn’t keep this mentality throughout this disk is a pity.

What starts out as your not-so-typical girl songwriter type endeavor, rapidly degenerates into a very typical girl songwriter rehash. Leona undoubtedly has a notable command of wrapping tempo into her flow like the head wagging, “Charm Attack” which makes this sugar pop (“I’m no savior but I tried to save you”) so much better than the countless number of these “girl and my guitar” type bands in coffee shops across the USA.

“Chase” offers a typical girl dilemma “Why do I always chase the ones that run” and the verses have a minimal pullback drum track running solo that she slaps the sassy words over. But these clever lyrics are soon put to waste as the disk plays out, it seems Leona ran out of original ideas and was content to give her Lilith fair inspired repertoire the bulk of the work on the later part of the disk.

“Lonely Boy” starts out the cheese and even Leona’s voice on this track is out of sorts from the rest here and with the strings/slide guitar adding the dramatic element behind the lone acoustic guitar, it saps out some more, even though the idea might’ve been on track to start with.

When she gets creative, it’s something worth listening to but the standard fare that dominates this disk makes it hardly worth the while.

(2000 MCA Records)