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Echo [Crooked Crown]

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
Based on its crisp, thoughtful, and engaging songwriting alone, veteran singer/songwriter Maia Sharp's fourth solo album is a triumph featuring the kind of melodic grace and colorful wit that have characterized the tunes she has written for everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Cher, Edwin McCain, Lisa Loeb, Trisha Yearwood, and many others. While she admits, in jangling rock fashion, that she won't be part of anyone's "Polite Society," her social observation skills about how the lesser people live are in brilliant form on the poignant "John Q. Lonely." Similarly, the way she sees romance and that one person she can't forget is beautifully insightful à la the bluesy and brassy "You Are Mine." But great songwriting is always a guarantee with Sharp. Behind the scenes, the way she hooked up with producer Don Was bears mention. Sharp met him when Bonnie Raitt asked her to do harmonies on a track for a movie; Sharp, who wrote three songs for Raitt's 2005 album, Souls Alike, and toured with her, joined Was and Raitt in the studio. Was invited Sharp to take part in a session for www.mydamnchannel.com, a site where an artist records two songs in a single day by midnight, no matter how "finished" they are. Was dug her work ethic and signed on to produce Echo. Naturally, Raitt plays a part in the set, adding vocals to the infectious opening track, "Death by Perfection," a song whose lyrics capture the joy of those early sessions -- or anything else in life that is better without overthinking the process. Adding groove throughout to a set that grows more engaging with multiple listens is legendary drummer Jim Keltner, who adds Sharp to a résumé that includes two Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, and Fiona Apple., Rovi