On first listen, it's difficult to tell where singer, songwriter, and rock violinist Theresa Andersson is aiming her debut Basin Street effort, Shine. Sure, it's all rock & roll, but Andersson has a deep trick bag. She's a soulful singer with a thin reedy voice, but can nonetheless dig deep into the melodies she writes and drench them with emotion and complete exuberance as she does on the title track. Then there's the crunchy guitars and backbeat rhythms she sings against on "I'm on My Way," a wondrous, outrageously hooky pop tome of personal liberation against a sheeny, fat, guitar-doused backdrop and a string-laden funky bridge. The tune would not be out of place on albums by Shania Twain or Martina McBride. Her cover of Anders Osborne's "It's Gonna Be Ok," features the guitarist and piano giant Jon Cleary in the mix. Her sweet, yet slightly gritty croon here is reminiscent in feel of Maria McKee, but Andersson is her own song stylist. Then there's the Big Easy rock & roll strut of "Good Girl," with careening electric violins wailing over greasy guitars. "Break Up," is a beautiful Cajun rock tune with a skittering, funky backbeat and stunning violin work. The album closes with "Lorraine's Song," with an elegiac dobro played by Sonny Landreth, who also takes a mean guitar break. The real story on the tune, though, is Andersson's vocal; she wrenches every ounce of backwoods country out of Grayson Capps lyrics. Brokenness, resolve, loneliness, and redemption pour from the belly-deep grain in her voice. Recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek