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Talent, yes, but where's the groove?

Pretty Colored Lights
Pretty Colored Lights
By Allison Cornell

Self-released: 2007

Buy it now


This review first appeared in the April 26, 2007 issue of the North County Times.

Allison Cornell, hailing of late from Los Angeles, has as gorgeous a voice as you'll ever hear. Classically trained (Julliard), rangy and rich, she could probably tackle any style of singing ever crafted and ultimately nail it.

The problem with her new album is that she seemingly tries to tackle a dozen or more styles. Shifting from folk-rock to ballads to R&B to techno to pop, Cornell never sustains any kind of groove. Song to song, she's shifting styles so dramatically it's almost jarring at times.

The best point of the album is probably a live cut she made while on tour with the Joe Jackson band, stepping out front to handle lead vocals on Jackson's "Glamour and Pain." A great arrangement and tight band provide the kind of focused foundation that allows Cornell's lovely pipes to shine at their brightest.