Album Review: Coin and a Half Girls by Anj

Album Name: Coin and a Half Girls
Artist: Anj
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Anj is Andrea Granieri, a 20-something from the South Jersey area. She’s been singing and playing piano since she was a child and it shows.

This record intrigued me right away. The cover art is quite interesting, a girl drowning in a bathtub of pennies. And what the heck does “Coin and a Half Girls” mean anyway? Well, I can’t say that now, even after repeated listens I am any closer to an understanding. But that’s OK. You don’t have to understand art, right? Right?

At first I really liked the first few songs, then once I got to about track 9 I was slightly annoyed by the vocals. She has so much vibrato that her voice quivers. It’s also a little too opera-ish for me. I don’t mind opera voices when they’re singing that type of music (see Sasha Lazard’s “Moonfall”) but when it’s done to pop music it’s a little off putting to me. Now remember, this is only me, you might have a completely different experience.

She’s obviously a very gifted vocalist, I just think it needs some structure, or maybe control (?) I like her voice when she’s in the lower ranges it’s very pleasing. I even like the higher ranges, when the vibrato is held in check.

OK, so let’s focus on the positive. The songwriting is really very good. I really like the melody on “Former Stranger” which is the third track, but the first full song. I love the piano part on this song. In fact, I just plain love that she plays piano and very well, too. Here the piano gives this song an almost cabaret sound.

On some of the mellower songs I can see where the Carole King comparisons come into play. I’m seeing this especially on the beginning of “Ivory”. It’s a very pretty song.

The piano on “Late for Life” is incredibly beautiful. Really makes me wish I could play better (must call for lessons). The vocals and phrasing here reminds me of another musician, Pepper McGowan ( , who sadly, I think has left he business.

Her lyrics are also very impressive. Very well thought out, intelligent. If you like piano rock-pop (more edgy than pop in this case) you should surely check out Anj and “Coin and a Half Girls” whoever they are.

Posted on February 7, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Entrance
2. Prolouge
3. Former Stranger
4. Ivory
5. Blueprints
6. Late for Life
7. Vintage
8. Intermission
9. Orbit
10. Anchor
11. Cassie’s Man
12. Three Year Fusion
13. Epilogue
14. Exit

[Anj Official Site]


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