Nerina Pallot

Fires

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In the age of instant success, Nerina Pallot was a singer/songwriter who didn't quite fit, failing to chart at all with her first two albums, Dear Frustrated Superstar and Fires. It wasn't until Fires was reissued that it finally broke through, and even then it didn't quite reach the Top 20. She had the fire and anger of Alanis Morissette along with the melodic qualities and thoughtfulness of Joni Mitchell, as shown on the opening track, "Everybody's Gone to War," an updated protest song (after all, wars were still going on in various places all over the world). Here was a set of 11 real songs, all written by Pallot and sung with feeling, backed by either acoustic guitar or piano. The influence of Mitchell could be heard most clearly on "Sophia," the second single to be released, a simple melody with Pallot's voice soaring unexpectedly up and down the scales over piano accompaniment. But by way of complete contrast, "All Good People" and "Heart Attack" were full-on rock tracks.

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