Andrea Revel Citysong

Andrea Revel Citysong
The test of a great songwriter nowadays seems to be not only how well they can perform with just an acoustic guitar (anybody can do that), but how well they can incorporate contemporary sounds into their approach. Some, like Joe Henry, have excelled at it in recent years, but many end up lost in the world of drum & bass. Not Andrea Revel, though. On this sophomore release, the Montreal-via-Calgary native has painted a mesmerising sonic landscape, which is more importantly supported by equally enchanting songs. Although she describes it herself as "Morcheeba goes to Nashville,” Citysong’s vibe is more accurately represented in how well Revel manages to inject soul into cold, clinical electronica. Failure to do so is almost always the downfall of songwriters who undertake such an experiment, and even Jeff Tweedy could take some lessons from Revel, judging by the ironic lifelessness of A Ghost Is Born. Most of Revel’s songs here, such as the shimmering "The Past Is Never Past,” and the utterly gorgeous "Rainy Day,” will convince even the staunchest traditionalist that modern technology and old fashioned balladry can co-exist. Brian Eno would be proud. (Independent)