Anika Moa

Thinking Room

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On her American debut, Thinking Room, Anika Moa comes across as a gentle, mannered Jewel, which is hardly a bad thing, especially since it results in an album that is more consistent than Jewel's own debut, Pieces of You. The problem is, the record may be a little bit too mannered and even-handed. It flows easily and is certainly pleasant, thanks to her unhurried delivery, sweet voice and relaxed sense of melody, all given a mildly folky, mature pop foundation. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, especially since it results in a record that is measuredly enjoyable, but nothing quite stands out over its ten songs, due to the sameiness in production and Moa's delivery, which never emphasizes any particular song. There's enough here to suggest Anika Moa has talent and much is enjoyable, but it would have been better if Thinking Room had asserted itself occasionally instead of keeping a steady hand from beginning to end.

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