Thalia Zedek

Been Here and Gone

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Thalia Zedek may claim this as her first solo disc, but her influential work in both Uzi and Come should let listeners know that her impressive talent is nothing new. Seamlessly jumping from sprawled-out torch songs to slightly folksy and rocking numbers, Zedek's powerfully deep voice blends all of the music into the same timeless genre. Her telltale cover of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" may wear its influences on its proverbial sleeve, but there is such sincerity in the singer's delivery that she pulls it off in a completely believable fashion. Backed by a solid band that features rock instrumentation along with strings and horns, the atmosphere is at times sinister but also spacious and constantly shifting. There aren't too many happy moments on Been Here and Gone, and such sentiments probably wouldn't work too well in light of what the record tends to sound like, but at the same time, Zedek is tough, and her music has as much pride as it does weakness. The 11 tracks tend to focus on love, both fleeting and lost, and the quality of sound on the record is top notch. Tracks like "Treacherous Thing" and "Strong" show the ability of her voice to accompany the band toward quiet yet monumental buildups, and for the most part, that characterizes the entire record. Thalia Zedek is a talented singer and musician who needs to be experienced, and though she isn't for the faint of heart or easily saddened, she is at the very least worth checking out when you're in fairly good mood that can stand to be brought down a bit.

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