Title: My Own Skin
Catalogue Number: No catalogue number
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2006
This debut release from Zaba Grace can best be described as thoughtful pop with a dark edge. It also benefits greatly from having an energetic freshness that helps it stand from the crowd. Zaba moves effortlessly from 'in-your-face' rock, to songs with subtle shifts in tempo and mood, all built on a solid foundation of some excellent and often thought provoking lyrics.
The opening track "God" is one of the highlights and, on the surface at least, is a straight forward rock song except it hits you with surprisingly philosophical lyrics when you're least expecting them. Indeed "Sorry Charlie", although more pop-oriented, is of a similar ilk with darker lyrics than you first suspect - "Let me slap an easy solution on your pain, the past is over; you should be a saint and forgive all the evil men, who killed your childhood".
With "Insecure" we venture towards the territory of jangling guitars, at times sounding a touch like early Pretenders (not that that is a bad thing), and "Love" is another real standout that has a great pop sounding feel to it. It is "Voices" however that is the real highlight with its emotion laden lyrics and rhythmic changes of pace that elevate it above what you'd normally expect from a pop song.
This is certainly a CD that you'll want to keep revisiting and she deserves credit for eschewing the superficial and instead going for music from her heart and the depths of her soul - not for her the easy option of a chorus full of 'la-la-la's' when she has something to say.
Zaba, who co-writes all the songs, and producer Chris Kress have done an excellent job in putting together an album of songs that are catchy enough to grab your attention, yet challenging enough to hold it. Available from <a href="http://cdbaby.com/cd/zaba/from/taur">CDBaby</a>.</p>
June 21, 2007
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