Mindy Smith

One Moment More

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One Moment More may be Mindy Smith's debut album, but you probably wouldn't guess it's the work of a novice on first listen -- Smith's first extended trip into the recording studio finds her displaying the sort of confidence, intelligence, and emotional range you'd expect to hear from a veteran performer. Smith's voice is rich but open, covering a broad musical and emotional range without a lot of pointless showboating, and suggesting Alison Krauss' clean vocal style but with a more naturally limber instrument. As a songwriter, Smith's songs speak of the heart and mind with a plainspoken eloquence that's affecting without a hint of needless treacle, with "Raggedy Anne" (written in the wake of her mother's death) and "One Moment More" (a heartsick farewell to a lover) making clear Smith showing off her subtle eloquence at its best. And the spare but effective production -- by Smith in collaboration with Steve Buckingham -- brings out the best in her songs and her voice without either drowning her out or pointing her material in the wrong direction. Many artists spend years working up to the point where they can make an album as graceful and telling as One Moment More, and Mindy Smith managed it in her first time at bat -- makes you wonder what she has up her sleeve for an encore.

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