ERIN COLE-BAKER: Talon and Spur
By Shaun Chait
California-born/NZ-bred/Oregon-residing Erin Cole-Baker clearly understands the need to make an immediate statement. Lead off track Start All Over Again is not only one of her stronger songs, but is also perfectly reflective of just what the rest of the tracks on this, her third album, will sound like – which is classic acoustic folk-based pop. Musically and vocally she sounds very much like a wide range of female, Americana and folk pop artists (Edie Brickell, Eddi Reader, Lisa Loeb, Shawn Colvin). In fact at times (on Talon and Spur, Put Me Back Together, Trains Planes and Automobiles), she can sound so disconcertingly like others it will bug you for days who it is she sounds most exactly like. Of course this gives her music a familiar feel, but it probably also makes this album seem a little samesy. During her best moments (the Anika Moa sounding One Little Voice or the georgous We Can) she draws you in with engaging, heartfelt, and beautiful melodies and vocals. Like many in its genre, this is an album that, the more you ‘get it alone’, the better it sounds.