Lisa Cruz is a superb songsmith but may have to content herself in not being able to sing as well as she writes and arranges. A guitarist as well, Cruz has a truly sweet way with lyrics and a deliciously lush hand in arranging each relatively simple composition, crafting them into little treasures. The third cut, Everything, is a stunner, and the song in which she shows her best vocal side.
Ms. Cruz, though, hasn't the voice she needs to carry her own songs off properly… almost but still too short to index correctly into the high degree of professionality of the accompanying sonics, which are gauzy, wistful, bittersweet, alluring, dreamy, and impossible to turn away from. What she crafts is a blend of soft rock, prairie, folk, and love song that defies easy categorization.
No credits are given for the accompanists but the pedal steel (lap steel maybe?) is a crucial element to her style and exposition. The occasional piano is rather nice as well, so I really wish she would have credited her band. Nonetheless, they're playing her measures throughout, and each line is deftly integrated for a sound that's consistent and personal. What we're really looking at in Cruz, I'm quite sure, is someone who is going to be a kind of Carole Bayer Sager, Tom Snow, Paul Williams...a person who pens tunes that other musicians can't help but pick up and run with. Were a top-flight singer to tackle them, there are at least three definite hits here, and the rest are good listening material.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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