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Anne Heaton
Honeycomb
Spill Records
www.anneheaton.com


With a blend of soft pop, smooth blues, and porch folk, singer-songwriter Anne Heaton tailors songs to her specific vocal measurements personalizing each track on her fourth solo album Honeycomb. For instance, her rendition of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" displays the elasticity in her vocals which bends and shapes the melodic patterns on a berth of sparse beats and liquidity guitar chords making the song her own.

Produced by Gary Maurer (Hem), Mike Denneen (Aimee Mann), and Heaton, Honeycomb molds facets of pop, folk, and blues into a pleasing listening album. The traipsing accordion-tinted notes of "The Alchemist" threading through the rhythmic pumps produce a nursery rhyme pattern. The brushed drum strokes of the title track are soothing, morphing into the trundling movements of "I Still Love You." The shuffling beats of "Watching You Win" have a rustic folk vibe as Heaton paints a picture of youthful idolizing of a heroic figure, "You showed us who we could be / We were so afraid 'til we saw you give it a try / You know you made us brave / You made us smile."

The smoky, jazz-accented horns in "As You Are" complement Heaton's bluesy voicing, shifting into a cotillion of delicate strings in "Two Human-Sized Wedding Candles" as the wispy waves of Heaton's vocals amplify the gentleness of the track and contrast the bright atmospherics and upbeat grooves of "Losses of Her Ancestors." Heaton creates musical adaptations of two poems penned by 13th century mystic Rumi, blanketing "Pearl Become Powder" in mellow piano furls and cradling "Prayer of Saint Francis" in tender musings.

Heaton's music has a likeness to the artists whom her producers have worked with previously, but she also lets her individuality show. Honeycomb crisscrosses genres into a pleasing hybrid.

-Susan Frances

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