Tracy Bonham

Liverpool Sessions

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The rawest of Tracy Bonham's releases, this debut EP showed the alterna-pop singer/songwriter to be an artist of considerable talent. Bonham's expressive vocal delivery has a familiar tonality that fans of mid-'90s girl rock might initially have trouble distinguishing, but the brilliance of her music lies within the lyrics and melodies she uses deftly to make a very personal mark on her recordings. The subtly complicated vocal lines (scattered within her sometimes-punk, sometimes-jangly, always-urgent pop songs) make this and other Bonham records distinctive and rare in their musical accomplishment within an admittedly limited form. "Dandelion," "Talk Too Much," and "I'm Not a Waif" are the best examples of the songwriter's stylized approach and purposeful lyrics on Liverpool Sessions. There have been comparisons to PJ Harvey, especially regarding early efforts like this EP and Bonham's finest recording, The Burdens of Being Upright. These are rather shortsighted assumptions, as Bonham projected a pop sensibility that strayed only into the realm of punk, not the blues forms Harvey was exploring. This EP is highly recommended to fans of Harvey, however, and other empowered and intelligent female artists of their time. Listeners intrigued by Bonham's more successful work should also be quite happy with what they hear on Liverpool Sessions.

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