Stephanie Rearick

Star Belly

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AllMusic Review by

Stephanie Rearick is slowly, carefully tweaking her recorded personality as a solo pianist and singer/songwriter who makes use of a variety of sometimes daring enhancements. Star Belly, her 2005 set of songs, seems not remarkably different then previous sets such as The Bucket Rider. Her vocal overdubbing and harmonizing are marvelous, bringing forth a multitude of possibilities as organically as a fistful of hollyhock seeds. The piano continues as a stronger and stronger element, left-hand parts tromping out a framework that a weaker player would have to wheedle out of a rhythm section. Both piano and vocal come in and out of a production treatment in which aspects move from large, sometimes obscuring amounts of processing to the purest of simplicity. When this takes place during the course of a single song, it is as if the listener has fallen asleep in an antique auction and woken up alone, back in his own bedroom. Several pieces such as "Twilight Fog" have memorable melodic lines, allowed an amazing breadth through the subtlest of production, the performer confident enough to practically ignore her own strengths. Rearick also presents interesting cover versions of pieces by Tom Waits, Brian Eno, and David Bowie.

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