Rose Smith

Dawn Raiding

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    5
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Smith has a crisp, Natalie Merchant-type voice which she enjoys texturing with backing voices (presumably her own) in front of thick rhythm patterns, old-school soul ambiences, and retro keyboards. The sonic foundations are often so interesting that it's easy to forget you're listening to some pretty good songwriting as well. Smith has some solid accompaniment, but plays almost all of the keyboards -- Rhodes, piano, "Wurli" -- herself. Sometimes, as on "Into the Deep" or the ethereal "First Time Alive," she gets a little ambient-happy and the clarity of her voice is somewhat sacrificed for atmospheric effect. Those sorts of shortcomings move her from the quirky singer/songwriter realm into something more new agey, but all of it makes for a trippy and seductive listening experience.

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