Finding Her Own Voice
When I listened to “The Other Side of Me”, I thought that Eder sounded like a cross between Barbra Streisand and Carrie Underwood. Doing a bit of research, I found out that Eder was born in Tucson, AZ in 1961, and that, in fact, Streisand and Judy Garland were early inspirations of hers. I went back to listen to some of her previous work which
included mainly Broadway and pop standards.
In speaking about her new album, her 10th and her debut with Verve, Eder has said, “This isn’t so much a departure as it is me getting back to who I really am.” She has explained that before she felt she was playing a role, albeit a good one, but that now she was going back to her roots and what moved her when she was just a kid and picked up her first guitar and began writing music. This first love is rekindled in “The Other Side of Me” with its country-pop flavor.
For me, some of these songs still sound like pop standards and, in fact, the middle of the cd songs seem to blend together, however there are truly some that stand out for me and make this cd powerful and enjoyable. Eder has a gorgeous voice and a broad vocal range. The songs deal with a range of emotions and form a tapestry of life and love. There are soaring melodies and the overall tone is extremely uplifting and optimistic. I love the instruments used on this cd and its beautiful harmonies. There are banjo, fiddle, mandolin, mandola, cello and acoustic/electric guitar and piano included.
“Pieces” is easily one of my favorites. It is about a woman who has to pick up the pieces all the time while her man finds another lover for the good times. It really is feisty and quite catchy while not cliche. It starts out, “She slams the door and you come running”, and continues with “I’ve always been the one who puts you back together; She gets the best of you and I get your stormy weather.” The message is that “I need some sunshine of my own.” What I love about this song is that it is simple and packs a punch while being extremely melodic and showcasing Eder’s beautiful vocals. It really has a country feel and I am in love with Antoine Silverman’s fiddle which acccents throughout and ends the song.
My favorite is “Waiting for The Fall”. This really galvanizes the entire cd for me with its sexy grooving electric guitars. It almost feels like it has a rockabilly feel and seems more alive and exciting than some of the others. This to me seems the epitome of Eder finding her own voice. It sounds modern and fresh even integrates a rap by Strange Cranium which fits perfectly. This song is a departure from some of the others that still sound pop/Broadway to me. Eder wrote this piece and it shows. I really hope she produces more of her own music.
I also like “Prayer For Love” which is full of country-tinged hopefulness.
“They are the Roses” speaks of the dreams that grow in the heart of a child and the hope for future generations. It is enhanced by the sweet voices of a children’s choir.
“Both Sides Now” is a cover of one of Joni Mitchell’s famous anthems. It’s very relaxing like a lot of this cd. There is a lot of pleasant music that is great for mellowing out.
I have been a fan of the Indigo Girls for ages and have seen them in concert. I think their writing is brilliant, so it was like finding an old friend to find a cover of Emily Salier’s “Ghost” here.
It’s sung beautifully, simply, not overdone. I found it very moving and love the original poetic lyrics of love and longing.
And you kiss me like a lover
Then you sting me like a viper
I go follow to the river
Play your memory like a piper
And I feel it like a sickness
How this love is killing me
I’d walk into the fingers
Of your fire willingly
And dance the edge of sanity
Ive never been this close
Im in love with your ghost
“Make Today Beautiful” is about making your own future and facing it with hope and faith. I believe this is what Eder is doing here and she does it well. I hope to see even more
of her own voice and writing soon.
Linda Eder will be touring through the Fall and into 2009.