Siedah Garrett


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Siedah Garrett, a backing vocalist who's contributed to dozens of sessions for everyone from Cliff Richard to Rancid, followed her 1988 solo debut with a second album in 2003. Garrett is not only a splendid vocalist but also a talented songwriter (she'll live well for years based solely on colleague Michael Jackson recording her "Man in the Mirror"), and someone who realized that changing times demand a different style of composition than she'd used 15 years earlier. Unfortunately, from both the songwriting and the musical contexts, Siedah is a record that follows trends instead of capitalizing on them (or, best of all, setting them). Play a song like "What I Know" or "Rise" to any four listeners you'd find at the local Wal-Mart, and you'd probably get four different categorizations for Siedah: is she country or pop or rock or maybe R&B? This record panders to so many different styles and demographics it's difficult to find any personality at all behind these songs. Session veterans Greg Phillinganes and Mike Porcaro ably create the backing tracks, but the arrangements are rigid and never yield to Garrett's songwriting.

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