Danielle Brisebois

Portable Life

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Despite being tossed aside during the era of Lilith Fair excursions and rap pervasiveness, Danielle Brisebois is still her sultry singer/songwriter self on her second album Portable Life. After playing alongside Gregg Alexander in his multi-platinum group the New Radicals, Brisebois has retained Alexander as collaborator during the continuation of her solo career, in which she nearly gushes with demonstrative love. On Portable Life Brisebois does seem more relaxed than previously, and her material with Alexander remains loose and flirtatious. But, overall, the album suffers in comparison to her first solo outing Arrive All Over You. Portable Life tends toward an adult contemporary sound and, although catchy, there is nothing truly outstanding here in either compositions or lyrics. Brisebois sounds a little tart when intending to make a cry for love, and although her subject matter remains universal, it becomes a bit redundant through the course of the album. She remains an inviting artist, however, with a voice that seems to crave approval in similar fashion to Beth Hart. Brisebois doesn't overlook the emotional equations that made her first album so attractive. "Give Me a Day" and "I Had a Dream" both flow with her typical hazy vocals, and the grainy acoustics are enjoyable. That's basically what Portable Life delivers -- no more, no less.