Maura O'Connell


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Stories is Maura O'Connell's tribute to great singer-songwriters, and as such it features songs by a number of the usual suspects, including John Gorka ("Blue Chalk") and Shawn Colvin ("Shotgun Down the Avalanche"), as well as a gently lovely rendition of Lennon and McCartney's "If I Fell." The jazzy, stripped-down guitar and bass accompaniment on "The Town Can't Get Over You" provides a nice counterpoint to the lushness that characterizes most of the album, but the high point is probably Mary-Chapin Carpenter's gorgeous (if slightly trite) "Wall Around Your Heart." Any songwriter would be grateful to have a singer like O'Connell interpret his or her music -- she combines an Ella Fitzgerald-ish respect for the composer's work with an equally impressive ability to make that work her own, and her voice is a thing of exquisite, honeyed beauty. This disc is highly recommended.

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