Judith Owen: Somebody’s Child

review owen x1 cong

You can have a two-word review for this album: Laurel Canyon. If you want four, Laurel Canyon, Carole King.

Owen is a Welsh singer-songwriter, and has been releasing music since 1996. She’s toured and recorded with Richard Thompson, and is married to Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap, and the likes of Mr Burns and Principal Skinner on The Simpsons).

We weren’t expecting to like this, but it’s enjoyable. It’s on that middle ground between adult pop and jazz, and it’s instantly likable. The songs are technically polished, with good melodies and Owen has a good voice well suited to jazz/blues.

There are a couple of upbeat tunes; Send Me A Line is one — it’s a robust piano-led song that reminded us of Ali McBeal singer Vonda Shepherd (as does We Give In). Elsewhere it’s slower and more reflective, but as we say, it’s typical of the Laurel Canyon songwriters and their talent for producing good melody and personal, philosophical lyrics.

Standout is perhaps the bluesy, soulful Tell All Your Children, which hits a sweet spot, but they’re all good. She also does a nice, late-night cover of More Than This, the Bryan Ferry song, which is as close to saccharine as she gets.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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