Cyndie Hasty's Temptation is a gritty, soulful mix of folk, R&B, and roots rock that conveys deeply personal lyrics with irresistibly catchy melodies via organic arrangements. Her confessional narratives probe the human condition as it relates to love, deception, indulgence, and seduction. With ace guitarist Karlus Trapp by her side, Hasty faces the trials of failed romance ("Crazy Old Soul," "One Day"), desire ("Thinking About You"), and redemption ("Say It Again") with courage and tenacity. Utilizing the sparse instrumentation to her advantage, Hasty invigorates this intimate song cycle with the boogie-woogie romp "Crossing the Land," stretching her piano chops and trading spirited licks with Trapp, and the bittersweet bluesy "Honey Please Forgive Me," starring the quasi-fictional characters Jim and Tammy. The most alluring cut on this collection is the elusive country-waltz "Come Dance With Me," featuring Michael Levine on violin, which derives its storyline from the James Purdy novel In a Shallow Grave, detailing the indeterminate sexual ambitions of a young soldier. Every track on Temptation displays Hasty's stellar songcraft, impassioned delivery, and instrumental expertise. She's managed to avoid the clichés that prevent many folk-rock singer/songwriters from achieving commercial success with an album that could easily cross over into the mainstream.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Semioli