Muriel Anderson

Wildcat

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Muriel Anderson is at heart a singer/songwriter in the grand folk-pop tradition that's existed at least since the days of the Weavers, but her music is also woven through with Brazilian jazz influences in the manner of Baden Powell or João Gilberto. It's a unique, playful sound that gives Wildcat a jazzy swing that's far too often missing from this kind of record. Even overtly country-oriented material like the delicate ballad "St. Louis Waltz," which features a very nice Floyd Cramer-like piano part, has the same sort of syncopated drive as neo-bossa nova tunes like "Rio de Janeiro" and the title track. The handful of less rhythmic songs, like the lovely "I'll Never Sing Another Song (Tokyo Lullaby)," are put across through the beauty of Anderson's unostentatious vocal style and her equally graceful guitar playing. The album as a whole might be too gentle and kittenish to live up to the promise of the title, but it's a small, intimate delight anyway.

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