Eliza Lynn

The Weary Wake Up

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Although she tends to be labeled a singer/songwriter most of the time, North Carolina songstress Eliza Lynn has a lot more folk in her repertoire than the standards of singing/songwriting. The Weary Wake Up, her sophomore release, comes in part as a result of a surprisingly positive response to a track included on a Putumayo compilation. Here, she bounces and rolls through a series of styles, anchored by her occasionally Bonnie Raitt-like vocals and a bit of Piedmont guitar. The album opens with a fine piece of loping singer/songwriter fare, then throws in a touch of soul for its follow-up. The third track, "Conrad," is the type of music that Moby builds upon -- a careful, sparse, but undeniably catchy banjo riff courses through the piece, alternately in counterpoint and parallel with Lynn's vocals. Some gospel-influenced work follows in "How Many Times," and urban blues in "Intolerance Blues." The banjos come back in "Bound," but with a faster format à la Appalachian stomps and a few touches of electric guitar peeking in. Some country-funk in "Stared at Me" leads into a weaker but more deliberate form of funk in the aptly titled "Get on Up." "Puddin Pie" sounds like a nostalgic childrens song, and the tracks that together form the title each carry a bit of more pure folk and singer/songwriter. The album ends on one of the deeper, more ornamented tracks that perhaps displays the essence of Lynn's performing style -- a delicate touch on the guitar, some additional folk instrumentation, a quietly thumping piano, and an almost cabaret-style vocal quality. Though the album jumps all over the map, it makes a fine listening experience. Fans of contemporary folk should enjoy it, but perhaps more so those who aren't already initiated into the genres will enjoy the range of styles and skills.

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