Album Review: Disarming by Ember Swift

Album Name: Disarming
Artist: Ember Swift
Year/Label: 2004 / Independent

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

I wonder what kind of music Ember would be making if there were no such thing as Ani DiFranco? I find that so many of the CDs I get are either inspired by Ani or Tori Amos depending on which instrument the artist plays. I start to think there aren’t any new styles left anymore.

I was reprimanded by my hubby for saying this, but I defy you to listen to this CD and not think of Ani DiFranco. There are the funky rhythms, using the guitar as a percussion instrument (which I really like) and the gusty, sometimes goofy, swoopy vocals. Not the mention the political bent to many of the songs. She’s even started her own record label.

These are all good things. Great thing, actually. It’s just that they have been done by so many artists that you have to be really really excellent to stand out from all the rest. Though Swift is very entertaining, and clearly talented, she’s just not that original to my ears. But I still like her music.

She has certainly spent a lot of time, money, blood sweat and tears to put this and her 5 previous CDs out. So I don’t want to take anything away from that. So let’s just forget comparisons for a moment.

The above being said this is a good, solid, professional sounding CD. The songs have interesting hooks and rhythms. Both the lyrics and the melodies are well-written.

Her lyrics are especially powerful. Interesting how someone who doesn’t even live in this country (she’s Canadian) can have this much passion about our politics, unfortunately more than most people who live here. I realize that what happens here affects the whole world, I just wish everyone could see that. Anyway…back to the music…

If you like Ani DiFranco and Tegan and Sara and you have room for more of this type of music, you will surely enjoy Ember Swift.

Posted on December 15, 2004

Track Listing
1. Tapped and Wired
2. Disarming
3. Splinter
4. Boise
5. Twist Twice
6. Sucker-Punched
7. All In The Family
8. 14 & Fiery
9. H2O
10. F.A.Q
11. Elle est là
12. Pek
13. Breath

[Ember Swift Official Site]


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