At this point in her career, some 20 years and five solo albums on, Alice Peacock has received only a hint of the wider acclaim she so justly deserves. Most of it has been the result of choice placement in various movie and television soundtracks (the most prominent of which were the films "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" and "Because of Winn Dixie"), but with "Minnesota," - her first individual effort in a decade - she practically oozes a sense of serenity and satisfaction. A series of cooing love songs flowing with unbridled optimism, it finds her sharing that unfettered emotion with assurance, tenderness and a vocal that practically floats through the ether. She shares these songs with both an easy amble and a tender caress, making "Minnesota" a dream-like refuge for warm thoughts and feelings.
The title track alone is enough to convince. More than a heartfelt ode to her native state, it seems to sum up her sentiments overall.
"Minnesota land of my childhood
You are flowing through my veins
And I am drawn to your safe harbor
Forever thirsty for a drink"
Memories have rarely been mined so succinctly.
Indeed, Peacock doesn't mince words. "Isn't That Me and You" is a love song so striking and yet so spare that it approaches greeting card perfection ("Every once in a while/You find someone who looks at the world like you do/Isn't that right/Isn't that true/Isn't that me and you") "Free and Wild," the song that follows, is a tearjerker of a tune, literally a lullaby that ought to be required learning for any parent of a newborn. Yet when Peacock lets loose, as she seems inclined to do on the jaunty ragtime number "Paranoid," the rock steady "Your Own Backyard" and the vamp-like "Resting in the Quiet," she comes on like a sassy, seductive chanteuse, a vixen eagerly seeking some willing confidant and companion.
Indeed, regardless of mode or motif, Peacock's allure is hard to resist. "Minnesota" beckons brightly. Book a visit now.
Lee Zimmerman is a freelance writer and author based in Maryville, Tenn. He also expounds on music on his web site, Stories Beyond the Music - Americana Music Reviews, Interviews & Articles. His book -- Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries and Pioneers of an Honest Sound is available from Texas A&M University Publishing.