Tue, 15 January 2008
Artist - Alice Smith
She has more to say on the subject of the hotel: "Here's the thing," Smith says, "the one room here that I went to is the best room. It's all windows -- you can see all over the hills. It's overlooking the whole city. It's up on the seventh floor, and it's all windows, and they all open." She mentions her dislike of the mysteriously muddy lighting that Los Angeles often cultivates in its interiors. "It's not like that in this room," Smith says. "I hate dark places. I really like to see the sky -- really, really a lot."
Recently turned 29, Smith is, on the evidence of her solo debut, 'For Lovers, Dreamers & Me' (BBE Records), the most promising female singer-songwriter to go her own enrapturing way in a very long time. Her voice, with its four-octave range, is luscious and powerful and nuanced and finely sensitive to rhythm. Yet it never makes a cult of its own abilities; for all its fantastic manners, Smith's voice gets on down the road. Sometimes she sings with a booming intensity, yet Smith never loses the unlearnable balance and poise that separates good singers from great ones. And her basic attitudes, which are audible in every unforced phrase she negotiates, are all her own.