SHANNON CURFMAN - What You're Getting Into (2010)
Despite a couple of Top 40 hits at rock radio and reviews that favorably compared her debut, 1999's "Loud Guitars, Big Suspcions", to early-era Bonnie Raitt, erstwhile blues-rock prodigy Shannon Curfman fell off the radar for the better part of a decade, finally reemerging with her sophomore album, "Fast Lane Addiction", in 2007. Thankfully, she hasn't taken nearly so long for her third effort, the fiery What You're Getting Into. While many contemporary blues records are undermined by too-slick engineering, Curfman and co-producer Jason Miller instead opt for more lo-fi, ragged arrangements, leaving often heavy reverb in the sound mixes to add texture to Curfman's guitar licks. Though the arrangements may not be particularly innovative, cuts like "The Core" and the aggressive "Curious" include some tremendous, powerful blues structures. There's something to be said for defying convention, but Curfman's mastery of tried-and-true blues forms is impressive in its own right.
Curfman's primary selling point, though, remains her enormous, versatile voice. At turns gritty and soulful, she wails a ferocious version of Eric Clapton's "The Core" and standout original "What Would Mama Say" with conviction. She plays coy on the sex-fuelled "Heaven Is on Your Mind," and conveys some real vulnerability beneath the bluster of "All I Have." But the highlight of the set is a cover Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well." It's the album's meatiest song, and Curfman simply belts the ever-living shit out of it. Other than Beth Hart, there isn't a female rock singer working today who's better or who could equal the tour-de-force performance she gives on What You're Getting Into. When her songwriting starts to match the maturity of her phenomenal voice and her arrangements reflect the same fearlessness as her performances, Curfman could emerge as a modern blues powerhouse. Still only in her mid-20s, she's well on her way. - slantmagazine.com
TRACKS: 01. What You're Getting Into 02. Free Your Mind 03. The Core 04. Heaven Is In Your Mind 05. All I Have 06. Curious 07. Oh Well 08. What Would Mama Say 09. Dragon Attack 10. Strange
DISCLAIMER: The music found through this blog is intended for review purposes and should not be seen as a substitute for the original, legal, RIAA approved, record company enriching product. Please note that songs are available for VERY short amount of time. And if you like the music BUY IT. Please support the artists and buy as much as you can directly from them and cut out the middle man.
zinhof [at] gmail.com