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Eilen Jewell

Sea of Tears – 2009 (Signature Sounds)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Eilen Jewell

For her third release, singer songwriter Eilen Jewell combines her mesmerizing, and sometimes melancholy vocals, with great instrumentals led by the adept guitar playing of Jerry Miller on an album with a 1960's retro appeal.

While her vocals continue to charm, the lyrics are sometimes a bit disappointing. Nine of the 12 songs included are originals written by Jewell. However the covers are the highlight. The originals still capture the obvious talents of Jewell and the band, but lack depth and meaning lyrically to draw the listener in.

Reaching back for 2 European 1960's hits, Shakin' All Over by Johnny Kidd and The Pirates and the haunting, I'm Gonna Dress in Black, a hit for Van Morrison and the band Them, Jewell's vocals flow effortlessly along with the music, enhanced by the bass of John Sciascia and Jason Beck on drums. Not wanting to forget her country roots, Jewell also does a great job covering the late 1960's hit by Loretta Lynn, The Darkest Day.

One can't help but enjoy the talents on display here. The weaknesses are far outweighed by the delightful vocals and melody.