Tracy Shedd Blue

The curiously affecting debut of Boston-based singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd is a gentle reminder that there's no substitute for a good song. All the modern world gee-gaws and fashion plate accessories don't amount to a hill of beans if they aren't backed by a strong melody, a decent hook and bouncing groove. Blue is a collection of old-school indie pop tunes; it could rest comfortably between albums written by the Spinanes, Jale and Tsunami almost a decade ago. The departure point from those celebrated bands is the mature worldview that guides these observational lyrics. These songs are quiet marvels about relationships and other hang-ups, coloured by gently weeping guitars, keyboards and the occasional bass accompaniment. Whether or not the colourful title is a tip of the hat to troubadour Joni Mitchell's finest hour, this Blue shares that classic album's emotional weight and candour. (TeenBeat)