A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Peggy Logan
Listening to this album feels like sitting around your hearth fire with old and good friends, that is if your friends happen to be some very talented and soulful musicians. Susan Smentek's vocals have a smooth, warm tone, which is matched by the versatile, understated performances of the other players.
The graceful, never over-produced arrangements create a perfect balance with the clear vocals of Susan Smentek. Track after track she pours her lush mezzo voice over and around the simple, beautiful melodies, often in jazzy conversation with the instrumental interludes.
It is the ideal CD to back up a romantic dinner on a cozy winter's evening.
Blue Love - Classic country two-stepping tune which Susan croons in the best honky-tonk
style, backed up by the spirited slide guitar of Don Stiernberg Siren Song - The title track is a tender and evocative song which adds James Keelaghan's strong backing vocals to a clear and sincere acoustic landscape.
I Was A Little Too Lonely (You Were A Little Too Late) - New Orleans-flavored country sets a flirtatious backdrop for Susan's teasing performance as the girl who got away.
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans - The lazy swing of the Big Mississippi pours through the sultry tones of this stylish heartbreaker.
If Dreams Come True - A fun romp through a lively love song, with added from Don Stiernberg's virtuoso mandolin.
My Romance - Gentle, rolling version of the classic Rogers and Hart tune, with the delicate texture highlighted by a touching dialog between Susan's bittersweet vocals and Paul Mertens' lyrical soprano sax.
The End Of The Line - Rocking country tune in the classic style with a driving backbeat and some masterful fiddle work.
The Stranger Said - The original beauty of Susan's clear voice lends a straightforward sincerity to this moving and personal ballad. Kisses In The Night - A dreamy, subtle look at a quiet midnight tryst.
The Boy Next Door - Shades of the Caribbean color this nostalgic song, while Susan explores the darker tones of her ample lower range.
Cheek to Cheek - Clever, bluesy cover of the sophisticated Irving Berling classic.
Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling - Susan wraps up her album with a heartfelt rendition of this popular gospel tune.