Laura Love

Octoroon

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Hailing from the Northwest, Laura Love had made a name for herself on the coffeehouse and folk festival circuit by the time she released Octoroon, her major label debut, in 1997. Following several independently released efforts that garnered critical acclaim, Octoroon is a mesmerizing mix of styles that incorporate folk, world and traditional pop melodies and instrumentation. Love's vocals can be a bit harsh at moments, but they grow upon the listener and it is difficult not to be impressed with the elasticity of her delivery. "Bad Feeling" is percussive pop with horns and accordion giving it a slightly funky feel (aided by the inclusion of a bit of Sly Stone's "Everyday People"). "Capricorn & Hominy" incorporates chanting background vocals and fiddle to good effect. She stretches a bit too far on an ill-advised cover of Nirvana's "Come As You Are," but redeems herself with a spirited run-through of "Amazing Grace" and the closing acapella "Blind Bartimus."

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