Nadine Goellner

Sing It to Me Anyway

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One of the strongest indie releases of 2004 was this effort from a little-known NYC singer/songwriter, Sing It to Me Anyway, the follow-up to the limited-release Remember My Name, which presents Nadine Goellner as a remarkably talented vocalist who successfully fuses her jazz and acoustic folk leanings into a solid body of work. Pitch-perfect, pristine in its harmonizing tonal sound -- this could scarcely be a more technically solid vocal effort. Goellner's cool writing style and recurrent stays at New York's Living Room club make for facile comparisons to Norah Jones, but where Jones' approach has more of a standards feel, Goellner's feels wholly contemporary. She's at her best when sticking with straightforward, familiar ways of expressing her emotions in lyrics; it's her restrained yet assured deliveries and musical accompaniment that make the songs special. The best example is the title cut, the most fully realized tune on the album, which benefits from a lovely string arrangement from Ralph Ferris that enlivens the elegant acoustic melody beneath it. Also recommended are a pair of love songs, "Sarah" and "So What," that could easily attract a dedicated lesbian following but really transcend sexual boundaries. The tunes "Wherever I Go" and "Sometimes (So Lost)" are also highlights, demonstrating Goellner's knack for simpatico interplay with drummer Lance Carter, backing vocalist Natalia Zukerman, and saxophonist Steve Welsh. A glowing serenity envelopes this album, proving that fine art isn't borne solely of suffering. Sing It to Me Anyway didn't get the attention it deserved upon its mid-2004 release, but it is absolutely worth seeking out for fans of the acoustic jazz-pop genre.

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