Amanda Thorpe

Mass

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Moody, groovy, and melodic is a good place to start in a description of Amanda Thorpe's Mass. A muted trumpet steals its way through the wispy lines, then a shuffling snare drum sets the pace. A little stand-up bass never did nobody wrong in a song. Neither did a lap steel, an accordion, or a farfisa. And Mass has all of that and so much more. Maybe it's Dido, Heidi Berry, Natalie Merchant, or the gal from Morcheeba that comes to mind while listening to Thorpe. Whatever the case, she and her songs are instantly likeable. This is definitely a groove record, but one defined by the vibe it creates rather than its beats per minute. Sexy and sensual, sophisticated and haunting, yet at times playful and messy, Thorpe sends mixed messages at every turn of a phrase. Although "This Dear City" is an awesome opener, it would be hard to call it the best song on the record. The whole first half-dozen are pretty darn swell. Things tend to go the slightest bit awry around track number seven or eight; the mood is interrupted for a few of her weaker tunes. "Frances" brings her back to form just in time for "Hymn" to ease you back into your own reality. If you're sorry to find the end, that's all the better for Thorpe.

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