Serena Ryder If Your Memory Serves You Well

The woman with the purest and most arresting vocals currently working in Canada returns with the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Unlikely Emergency. At just 23, Ryder brings a range that spans the octaves, along with the vocal maturity of someone twice her age. Hers is a voice that can sing any genre and pull it off with ease — from jazz to country, from rock to easy listening. For her major label debut, Ryder leans toward the folk spectrum, choosing to record almost an entire disc of covers. The record opens with a minimalist approach to Leonard Cohen’s "Sisters of Mercy,” downplaying the instrumentation and placing the emphasis on this soulful singer’s best instrument: her voice. She gives the Bob Dylan/Rick Danko co-write a new lease with a funky folk version of "This Wheel’s On Fire.” The record ends with three Ryder originals, including a co-write with Randy Bachman and a stripped-down version of the title track from her last record. By paying homage to a host of Canadian and international songwriters from a time some may have forgotten, Ryder shows that her voice is as timeless as the songs and artists she covers. (EMI)