Erin Bode

Over And Over

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Although jazz-pop singer Erin Bode most often gets compared to Norah Jones, a closer point of comparison is the British indie duo Everything But the Girl. Although he doesn't get front-cover credit, Over and Over is effectively a duet album between Bode's warmly appealing, low-key vocals and her primary collaborator, Adam Maness, whose piano and acoustic guitar are at the heart of the arrangements and who co-wrote nearly all the songs. Maness is Ben Watt to Bode's Tracey Thorn, an empathetic collaborator rooted both in cool jazz and acoustic folk, and the pair create a hybrid of the two styles matched to a fondness for the reflective side of singer/songwriter pop that's best revealed on the album's two pop covers. Paul Simon's "Graceland" is transformed from the South African country ramble into something closer to Joni Mitchell's late-'70s fusion period, and Simply Red's near-forgotten ballad "Holding Back the Years" is overhauled from the unashamedly slick chart pop of the original into a stark duet performance of Maness' close-miked, echoing acoustic guitar and Bode's haunted, mournful vocals that changes the entire feel of the tune. Those tracks aside, however, it's the Bode/Maness originals that are the most intriguing part of this quiet but engrossing album, particularly "Send Me Up a Sign" (the most overtly Everything But the Girl-like song on the album) and the utterly charming, winsome lost-love tune "With the Radio On," which wouldn't sound out of place on a mid-'90s twee pop single by the likes of Softies or Lois until Seamus Blake's playful sax solo shows up. That cross-genre appeal is what makes Over and Over such a good record: Erin Bode isn't interested in staying in one particular stylistic box.

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