Denise James

Denise James

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His Name Is Alive vocalist/songwriter Denise James has been described as a protégé of maverick Motor City musician/producer Matthew Smith (Outrageous Cherry/Slumber Party/the Go). For those of you familiar with Smith's now-somewhat-predictable predilection for dowsing his own sonic productions in cavernous reverb, you'll no doubt understand why much of this dulcet-toned debut sounds like it was recorded in a dirigible hanger. The emphasis here, however, is where it should be, placed squarely on Ms. James' comely understated vocals, which sound, at times, like a girl group singer from the Populuxe era, or other times, like Nico or some folky Greenwich Village urchin with a fondness for French poets and hand-rolled cigarettes. For the most part, there's only sparse accompaniment from Smith on backing vocals, lead guitars, bass, and organ, and Scott Michalski on barely heard drums.

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