Anna Nalick

Wreck of the Day

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It's not often that a brilliant young singer gets to work with her chief influences on her first shot out of the park, but Anna Nalick's irresistible blend of crisply poetic lyrics, haunting melodies, rich sense of harmony, and ethereal ambience merits nothing less. On the rock side, she grew up a huge fan of Blind Melon, and former members Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith produce her debut with Eric Rosse -- best known for his work with another obvious inspiration, Tori Amos. As strong a presence as she creates as an artist on airy, symphonic piano-based instant hits like "Breathe (2 AM)" and the mournful, country-flavored title track, she is hindered slightly by over-production on rockers like "Citadel" and "In the Rough." "Citadel" has a cool, dark-toned Fiona Apple vibe, but its powerful guitar textures and trippy sound effects obscure Nalick's precious voice, which is better served by more subtle surroundings, as on another standout, "Forever Love." To her credit, Nalick seems game for both approaches, and will probably score numerous hits with each style, but it's a shame anytime a voice like that is obscured for even a moment. Despite this, she is a rare new shining star in the realm of female singer/songwriters, a deserving heir to the thrones of Amos and Apple.

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