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Amy Speace

Land Like a Bird – 2011 (Thirty Tigers)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Amy Speace

Amy Speace has a voice that sounds like a young Judy Collins. Her songwriter gift, however, is far too superior to the folk icon's lyrical skills. The first couplet that simply stops you in your tracks from Speace's new "Land like a Bird" CD is found in Ghost. This song concerns the way in which people enter and exit out of each other's lives. Some come and go quickly and hardly leave a trace. Then there are those that seem to haunt - like a ghost. Space describes one returning apparition as follows: "This time would be different, he swore it with the rapture of a baptized man/His words undressed her loneliness with a gospel built on sand."

Speace can hardly be called a country singer. She's more of a smart singer/songwriter in the mold of Shawn Colvin. Although her voice is pure and beautiful, which suggests Collins as a template; she also knows how to make her vocal cords tough when they need to be. As she sings, "When you ever gonna change for me," during Change for Me, it's done so with intensive pleading, which grows stronger and stronger as the song goes on.

She may not be a country singer by vocation, but she sure sounds like one during the Patsy Cline-esque It's Too Late to Call It a Night. The song is a slow burner, with slight touches of piano and guitar over a gently bumping bass line. If Speace's music doesn't haunt you like a ghost, you probably need to listen again - this time a lot more closely.