Soesja Citroen: Don't Cry Baby

Tracey Nolan By

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Great songwriters are not always great singers. While Soesja Citroen has the ability to create a sense of intimacy with her voice, it is not a great instrument. Her songs however, are captivating.

Citroen struggles with intonation and pitch. Her shortcomings are most obvious when she stays in her upper register, which is thin and often shrill. Despite her inadequacies as a vocalist, Citroen tells these stories expertly and evocatively. She is, after all, in the unique position of knowing who the characters in her stories really are. The ballads "Love Can't Be All Fun and "Last September are fine examples of Citroen's best storytelling. Tucked among the thoughtful ballads is the cute novelty tune "Song for You, which would be at home in a Blossom Dearie's set at Danny's Skylight Room.

"The Samba Calls affords the opportunity for pianist Berend van den Berg and bassist Ruud Ouwenhand a chance to stretch out a little bit on a rhythmic yet moody interlude. They provide capable, gentle support throughout.

At her best, Citroen is all elegant whimsy, but at her worst her vocals can be aggressively grating. You can hear both Citroens on Don't Cry Baby.

Track Listing: Just Another Man; Out Of The Blue; Don

Personnel: Soesja Citroen: vocals; Ruud Ouwehand: bass; Berend van den Berg: piano; Miriam Kroeze: cello.

Title: Don't Cry Baby | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Allegro Music


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