Michele Cummings lists her influences as Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, James Taylor, and Carole King, but her music is quite a bit more dynamic, both in content and delivery, than many of her predecessors' work. Michele Cummings' debut disc, Peel, truly encapsulates the work of a gifted and thoughtful artist craftily churning out tunes. Michele Cummings' work actually seems to have the fervor of the late-'60s work of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, as well as a similar aesthetic, but then are other parts of her work that seem to remind one of Laura Nyro or maybe even a less-feisty Holly Cole, especially in the area of delivery. Michele Cummings' Peel is an excellent disc and one that shines through much of the singer/songwriter schlock that's passed off as substantial, thoughtful, and heartfelt easy listening music. Michele Cummings brings her music to life, animating the works with carefully chosen instrumentation and breathy, languid melodies. One thing that can truly be said about this recording is that it's cohesive. A lot of artist's debuts come off like some kind of musical resumé of what the artist is capable of, but this is not always, if ever, the shortest distance between a good recording and building listenership, the way that many artists anticipate when doing a self-release, such as Michele Cummings has done. This record is premium, excellent, and of the highest caliber. Great work.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Borghi