Ilsabe O'Connell has a fetchingly beautiful voice; it's
timbre is crystal clear with just a hint of accent and whiskey
that makes it draw the ear like a warm blanket on a very cold
day. And today is a cold day. Little Lost Cause is a collection
of acoustic guitar driven songs that remind me of the better moments
of Lori Carson's career. O'Connell's songs are heartfelt
and emotional, full of the bittersweet beauty that so much of
today's new alt-folk lacks. "Nothing I Don't Like" is
an exercise in songwriting perfection, drawing lines like: "The
love that you make/ is a little insincere/ it's a postcard that
says/ 'Wish you were here'". Her voice attains the dirty
angelic quality of Lucinda Williams at many times on the
album, but never more prominently than when she coolly sings those
twisted love/hate lyrics. There are a few upbeat numbers hidden
among the brilliant dirges of the record, like the quirky "The
Dollar Store", with its musical compliment of shuffling drums
and hilarious lyrics. Pay careful attention to the Dolly Parton-esque
inflections and old school Waylon Jennings guitar solo.
The album hits its stride on "Tonight On The Carnival Midway";
a track diced with moody lyricism and wonderfully melodic vocal
lines that create a complete picture aided by delicate acoustic
guitars, provided by the skilled hands of Eric Lugosch.
This is the first I've heard from Ilsabe O'Connell, but I hope
that this will not be the last. I can always use the kind of music
that speaks so directly to my heart, not only in lyric, but in
tone and feeling. This is a bright talent that will hopefully
continue to mature and grow her amazing songwriting to even more
heights of glory.
1. All That's Left
2. Nothing I Don't Like
3. The Dollar Store
4. Tonight On The Carnival Midway
5. Blow Me Away
7. Pity Party
9. Old Konstanz
10. Some Truth To The Ad
11. Over Your Head
Little Lost Cause
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