Talking Underwater

Kree Woods

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Talking Underwater Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Kree Woods has an easy way with a melody. She never seems to sell her songs, rather she lays back, letting her songs unfold, never rushing anywhere on her 2013 debut Talking Underwater. At times she can recall other pop-oriented singer/songwriters -- there are hints of everyone from Vanessa Carlton to KC Tunstall, anybody who favors music over lyrics -- but Talking Underwater has a sweetness at its core and an emphasis on tunefulness on its surface that make it an easy sell and, at some points, an alluring one as well. Woods may not be an especially compelling singer -- there's nothing in her voice that pulls a listener into her story -- but she's a very friendly one, a quality that matches the gentle sway of her songs. She's often the unwitting beneficiary of the album's smaller budget. If it was on a major, the arrangements might have been overblown, but on an indie, she still has enough of a budget for accouterments like strings, but nothing is too forceful -- everything is sweetly ingratiating, and the album sounds pleasant and comforting as the songs slowly slip into the subconscious.

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