Lily Holbrook

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

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    7
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A surprisingly versatile, yet coherent major label debut from Lily Holbrook, a busker from Boston. The most obvious comparison one could make given the sound, softness, and beauty of her voice, would be to Jewel. For that matter, a few of the songs are reminiscent of Jewel's earlier days. Within the course of a few moments however, Holbrook can move to something along the lines of "Make Them Wonder," with what seems like a subtle nod to Shirley Manson and Garbage. Given her history of busking, the production seems a bit much from time to time, but the songwriting generally overpowers any such complaints. The musical stylings seem a little underdeveloped here and there, a little less complex than they could be perhaps. Again though, the songwriting recalls the grrl-rock and songstress era of the mid-'90s well, possibly with more writing ability. When Holbrook strips down the sound to pianos or guitars alone, the music becomes exceptional. Not perfectly consistent throughout the album, but it's definitely a refreshing piece of music.

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