After four albums that had defined her as a blues artist, Canadian singer/songwriter Roxanne Potvin decided to start over, leaving her record label and her manager, and moving back home to Montreal from Toronto. For Play, her fifth album, she has hooked up with Vancouver-based Black Hen Music and cut an album with label head Steve Dawson, who produced, co-engineered, and mixed it in addition to playing lead guitar in the rock accompaniments. Potvin has written a batch of songs that redefine her as a frisky folk-rocker with a pop edge in the manner of, say, Sheryl Crow, with elements of Lucinda Williams and Suzanne Vega thrown in. The songs are whimsical reflections on life expressed with girlish humor, and Dawson matches their tone, for instance ending "Let Me Go" with a musical pileup and providing an organ-driven rock backing for the playful "Dis-Moi Que Tu M'Aimes." Potvin has more fun as the album goes on, satirizing "Pretty Girls" whose makeup and fashionable clothes make them look like "whores," and even turning in a folk-rock treatment of "I'm Too Sexy." This may not be what her old fans are looking for, but Roxanne Potvin redefines herself on Play, and she may be looking for a whole new audience, too.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann