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Catie Curtis | My Shirt Looks Good On You (Ryko)
Catie Curtis comes from Boston and this is her fourth album. It's good, pushy and sparky stuff. She has one of those bright voices that sounds, especially in the quieter ones, like she's grinning, and the songs have a positivity to the lyrics that's unforced and winning. It's so refreshing to hear this kind of vanilla strummy rocky stuff and for it to be this lovable and unbombastic. It might remind you of Alanis Morrisette or Sheryl Crow but you'll like it nonetheless. Producer Trina Shoemaker has worked with Crow and Emmylou Harris and she does the sort of gently throbbing and resonant job Daniel Lanois might have been proud of before he got just a little too Daniel Lanois-ish. Mandolin player Jimmy Ryan puts in a lot of work and this makes for a nicely different texture to the sound too. There's a previously unrecorded song, called Patience, by Mark Sandman of Morphine, a fellow Bostonian who died on stage in Rome, and it fits in surprisingly well. The fourteen songs here are of a constant quiet quality with no jarring duffers at all. It's sadly rare to find an album so well crafted in all departments. So cherish this one.

Jeff Cotton
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002