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LOST TRACKS : Good CDs We Overlooked Last Year

The album, first released by London's BBE Records, was remastered and rereleased by Epic this year, allowing Smith to share her four-octave range and multiform style with a wider audience.

While Smith's voice possesses a richness and depth usually associated with soul, "For Lovers, Dreamers & Me" doesn't quite fit that category.

The disc jumps between pop rock, traditional R&B, blues and a jumble of other music styles, and Smith always manages to tweak her distinct instrument just enough to fit whatever genre she's working in.

"Dream" begins as a sweet R&B expression of a desire for romance, but ends with wild vamping and Smith sounding a bit more desperate to find love. "Desert Song" is indie pop-leaning, and Smith nails that particular style of wistful vocals, minus the depressive edge. On the dub-influenced "Do I," Smith plays well with trippy sound effects. And over the laid-back funk groove of "Fake Is the New Real," she laments that we're "living in phony times" and subtly positions herself as the antidote to the music business artifice.

With the no-frills ballad "Secrets," she sings about the dangers of keeping her feelings bottled up: "I have trouble keeping things on the DL," she says. Here's hoping this album, like her feelings, will remain hidden no longer.

-- Sarah Godfrey

DOWNLOAD THESE: "Dream," "Desert Song," "Secrets"

EARLY SOUTHERN GUITAR SOUNDS


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