Paris Luna: City Lights

A superficial reaction to Paris Luna’s City Lights might be to dismiss it as light folk rock. While it does have a few nods to bands best left forgotten like America, there is more behind it. Over the course of the album, Paris dabbles in folky pop, bluesy rock, light funk and soul as vehicles for her rich voice. That alone isn’t going to sell anyone on this album though. The thing that makes it stand out is that while she sounds a bit like Natalie Merchant, she feels more like Chrissie Hynde. What does that mean, you ask? It means that her voice is technically strong, but more importantly, she has the ability to sing to you and not just at you. She has the ability to cross gender barriers and touch everyone. She makes her songs personal, not just to her, but to her audience as well.

She does make the all too common mistake of re-writing "Sweet Jane" on "Someday," her voice tends to call 10,000 Maniacs to mind a bit too often and she occasionally sounds like she could be an opener at a Dave Matthews show, but she also dabbles in Tom Petty and occasionally even conjures up the ghost of Zeppelin III (or at least the Black Crowes). The band’s playing is generally sparse though bright and clear, but their purpose is clearly to support and they do that well. While her tendency toward breeze rock might be disconcerting at times, she always manages to dispel that lightness when her earthy voice reaches right out of the song.

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