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Apr 20, 2014







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Paula Cole, Raven (675 records)


By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



There are lots of reasons to be nice to this record, and not just because Cole is a Rockport, Mass., native who studied at Berklee and actually made something out of that training, which will always be the Avis to New England Conservatory’s Hertz. First of all, she’s stepped off her medium-sized pedestal (if her hits “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and Dawson’s Creek theme song “I Don’t Want to Wait” don’t dredge up memories of the ’90s for you, you weren’t there) and went begging on Kickstarter for 50 grand to fund this thing, which of course wasn’t a problem. This afforded her the freedom to stay within her own set boundaries, which works if you’re into her trademark obsession with the sustain pedal on her acoustic piano, adding richness even when it isn’t needed. Although the songs seem to run a bit long and can be exasperatingly mawkish, they’re opuses of solitude, and her talent for haunting beauty is still there (the banjo-sprinkled “Eloise”).  Instant musical oatmeal for discriminating soccer moms. A- Eric W. Saeger





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