Album review: "Over Land and Sea"
By Moira E. McLaughlin
Friday, June 22, 2012
Lauren Mann may be one of the best indie-folk rockers that you’ve never heard of. The Canadian musician tours relentlessly with her band, the Fairly Odd Folk. She released her second full-length album in May, “Over Land and Sea,” a beautiful work that easily draws in listeners with its subtle messages about life, love and the human journey.
The haunting “Fragile” quietly opens the album with a ukulele pattern that gives way to Mann’s pure, strong vocals. Her talent alone could have sold albums, yet she wisely worked with producer Aaron Marsh (formerly of Copeland) to craft her songs into something much more. The album is full of musical interludes showcasing such instruments as melodica, glockenspiel, clarinet, xylophone, organ and strings. They don’t add texture so much as mood and, at times, a fantastical feeling.
A real energy runs throughout, even on the more mellow songs such as “Lullaby,” which will speak to any mother. “I Lost Myself” thunders along rhythmically with a thick layer of production sounds. In the same way, the title track is a dynamic dance that combines tasteful production choices with real musicianship.
Mann succeeds with this album not only because it’s a great listen but also because it combines innocence with a real wisdom of heart as the tunes urge listeners to delve a little into themselves.