Annie Rue - Saddletree
Annie Rue is a singer/songwriter from Orange County, CA who recently released a full-length album called Saddletree. It’s a warm, lush, mostly acoustic album that centers on her wonderful voice. The folksongs on this album feel incredibly organic and rich with heartfelt emotion. The first time you hear her voice you know right away that this will be the main attraction to the songs not matter how good the music is. It’s confident, powerful, subdued when its needs to be and distinctly feminine. Her voice has some traces of a number of female vocalists including Bonnie Raitt and Loretta Lynn but isn't derivative of one single source.
The album starts out with a soft acoustic tune called “Without You,” which was a good choice for an opener as it has one of her best vocal melodies on the album. Her vocals were sublime but the string work was almost as pleasant as her voice. The guitar melodies on the acoustic guitar sounded so incredibly warm that they could serve as sound to play to your toddler to help him fall asleep. Basically the song could be described as comfort.
The second song “Misfire” rocks out a bit more as Rue takes off her boots and lets her hair down. The guitars are still clean and there are no shredding guitar solos but the song does have a fair amount of intensity and her voice has a bit of attitude as she sings about “ a hundred million close-minded men.” One of the most beautiful yet sad songs on the album is called “Sister” while “What Would You Do” sounded like a “break out the lava lamps and spark one up” tune.
The album closes with “St. Anthony’s Chapel,” which was quite a departure from a lot of the other songs. It is incredibly short but emanates with a dissonance that could send chills down your spine. The vocal harmonies sound distant yet hypnotic. It is an interesting way to end the album that I wasn't quite expecting.
I would have loved to hear a little bit more originality on Saddletree to separate her from the masses but overall she does a very good job. Her voice is gorgeous, the songs are well written and the production is slick.
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