How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With her session of sixteen original songs, singer Rebecca Martin sends a message. She tells stories about love and how we feel about our relationships. These are folk songs. The music that accompanies her tender lyrics also gives off a glow of folk music charm. While the message is universal, the instrumental harmony remains rooted in that part of European culture that migrated to North America centuries ago. Hence, Martin's folk music echoes the folk ballad of North America.
"It's Only Love" strolls easily through an urban setting, following us in our search for true love. Uncertainty and a gradual growth carry us from there to here. "Old Familiar Song" comes with a message that we've all shared at one time or other. It's about precious memories that may never return. All we can do in such a situation is sing about 'em.
"Play For Me" summarizes the true meaning of Martin's ballad project. Her lyrics are all printed in the accompanying booklet, so there's no mistake. "Music is for anyone who's open to hear," she sings. As a medium of precious folk ballads, she knows that it's one form of communication open to all. Slow and steady, she seeks to converse with our inner thoughts. A soothing accompaniment brings her message around, like river waters flowing gently through a flat plain. The motion is placid, but the message rings true.
Track Listing: Lead Us; Here the Same but Different; These Bones are Yours Alone; If Only; I'd Like to Think It's Coming; It's Only Love; When the Rain Comes; It Won't Be for Long; Learning; East Andover; Old Familiar Song; Lonesome Town; I'm Not Afraid; Gone Like the Season Does; I'm the One; Play For Me.
Personnel: Rebecca Martin: vocals, background vocals, guitar, mandolin; Steve Cardenas: guitar; Ben Monder: guitar; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone; Peter Rende: piano, electric piano, organ, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, background vocals; Matt Penman: bass; Darren Beckett: drums.