Annie Gallup

Cause and Effect

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In many ways, Annie Gallup resembles a number of singer/songwriters on Cause and Effect. In "Fight the Devil," she questions the commitment of her lukewarm lover while, in "Dancing With a Stranger," she describes the longing inherent in even the briefest of encounters. "So Easy" sets forth a series of evocative images, drawing an incisive portrait of someone who never needed to struggle for what he or she wanted. On other songs, however, Gallup separates herself from the pack. She has a talent for stuffing too many words in a line as though anxious to fit in as much as possible. The five-minute "For Money" adds another twist, inserting a soulful saxophone into the melody before turning an old Joni Mitchell lyric inside out. The saxophone pops up again in the incessant "Steak and Eggs for Breakfast," injecting a little R&B into the mix. She's clearly attracted to barrages of words, but can't quite let go of the need for melody. Gallup seems to be searching for a way to balance the music with the words on Cause and Effect, searching for her footing as an urban poet. Because of this state of flux, the album isn't perfect. Nonetheless, it's interesting because it shows an artist growing, trying to escape the confines of the "girl with a heartache and a guitar" school of writers. In a short time, she would do just that.

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