Lori Cullen Garden Path

Canada is apparently awash with talented folks who are putting out CDs at such an incredible rate that it is hard to keep up. And you can add Toronto's Lori Cullen to that list. Her debut CD, Garden Path, is an album that follows the classic singer-songwriters template - acoustic guitars and heartfelt lyrics. Acoustic guitar dominates, although there are unusual elements such as some tabla and a wooden flute that gives a new age type feel to most of the songs, but it never overwhelms the Joni Mitchell-ish vibe. The songs have an positive feel - there's a meditative, uplifting message to every single song that is reflected in the gentleness of the vocals. This is one of those incredibly nice CDs that is hard to say anything nasty about - it does perhaps lack a little of the personality required to make it stand out from the crowd, but I don't imagine that anyone who picks it up will be disappointed. (Independent)