STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 94830-16934 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Peter Timmis
Somehow, until recently, this Nashville-based singer/songwriter had escaped the Cross Rhythms radar which is all the more surprising when you find out that some regard this independent release from 1995 as something of a classic. The album begins with the sublime acoustic shuffle of "Whatsoever You Do" where, in a delicate hummingbird voice, Jennifer sings about the dilemma of giving money to a homeless man on the street, "They may be hungry, but I think 'they're just scamming'/You can't be sure/I am judging as I drive away". The scene is set for a fantastic album full of deft musicianship, gorgeous singing and an insightful and often touching approach to songwriting. Take for example the unusual subject matter of "It Was Not Time", a bittersweet tale led by jaunty piano about a car crash involving Jennifer's sister with the lyric "God in Heaven is bigger than those cars and concrete walls/He reached out his hand in perfect timing to break the fall/It was not time". The brilliance keeps on coming with the bright and breezy "I'm Not There Yet" and, my personal favourite, "Laurie's Letters" featuring inspired wordplay about someone living through correspondence from a well-travelled friend. The album closes with the sweet and inspiring "Salvation At The Coin-Op" by which time you're left in no doubt that 'By The Waves' is a very special album.