Nanci Griffith

Poet in My Window

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While Poet in My Window is only a small step up from Nanci Griffith's debut, the album finds her inching toward the mature art of Once in a Very Blue Moon. While guitars and an occasional mandolin embellished There's a Light Beyond These Woods, a fuller country sound graces its follow-up. Pedal steel and multiple acoustic guitars fill out "Can't Love Wrong" and "Heart of a Miner," giving them lots of body. While Griffith's vocals sometimes bordered on timid on her first album, the bigger country-folk sound inspires a more vigorous approach here. Indeed, on "Wheels" and "October Reasons," she shows herself capable of belting out a phrase or two without losing the vulnerable underside of the song. Evelyn Taylor offers a bit of harmony here and there, adding to the "bigger" sound of the album and pleasantly complementing Griffith's voice. Lyrically, A Poet in My Window offers sharp observations and memorable lines on pieces like "Workin' These Corners." When Griffith sings "She's just a hill country girl home from the city/Her pockets full of plenty of those neon lights" on "Waltzing With the Angels," she manages to be both clever and insightful. While all of these elements work together to create a strong impression on Poet in My Window, the songs lack the standout quality that would mark a half a dozen cuts on Once in a Very Blue Moon. The earlier album is nonetheless easy on the ears, and fans unfamiliar with it will appreciate watching a young poet find her bearings.

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