Deb Talan

Something Burning

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After working as member of Hummingfish for a number of years, Deb Talan began her solo career with the release of Songs for a Misfit Heart in the mid '90s. In 2000 she returned to the studio to record Something Burning. Perhaps the first thing a listener will notice is the tuneful songs, filled with melody and catchy hooks. "Thinking Amelia" works as a meditation on the high-flying proto-feminist Amelia Erhardt set against everyday life in a busy town. Sure, Erhardt flew away never to return -- the ultimate bad day -- but what a way to go. The double tracked vocal on "Whetstones" works well, while the chorus renders the song immediately likable. "The Gladdest Thing" goes for the softer folk mode, complete with cello and a few lyrics from an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem. Talan carefully balances the arrangements for each song, using a full band for pop/rock pieces like the title cut and a gentler, acoustic guitar sound for folk-based pieces like "A Good Day's Work" and "My Favorite Coat." In a way, there are two Debbie Talons: a gentle folknik who's sensitive to rain and flowers, and a rock & roll girl who sings about lust and desire. Either way, it all melds into a satisfying whole. Something Burning will appeal to anyone who enjoys good songs and smart lyrics.

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