Gina Gershon
"In Search Of Cleo"

(Self-Released 2007)Gina Gershon - In Search Of Cleo

You might know Gina Gershon for her accomplishments as an actress, from full-length feature films to the silver screen. But what this actress really wants to do is sing. It seems like a typical move these days what with actresses like Minnie Driver and Juliette Lewis choosing to unleash their inner songwriters. For Gershon this is not a shock and awe battle, it is a minefield that she lovingly and carefully plans out and then painstakingly constructs as she shows off her classic country foundation with an air of easy fluidity.

Gershon infuses her distinct sense of humor into "Pearl," a delicate ballad that ends with her pistol-whipping an old lover ("Oh, look, it's my 45…now suck my little friend"), and "Fountain of Ladies," which resolves with a lighthearted pub-style sing along, for a winning result. The technique, however, does fail when pushed too far, as on "Marie," where Gershon sings of her love for her "Negro" nanny and her prized mouth harp, which she solos on throughout the album. Soft, lonesome ballads, like "Lost At Sea" and the desolate twang of "La Di Da," are evenly balanced before being contrasted by the sexy lounge jazz of "Pretty Girls on Prozac."

It is sometimes difficult to know if Gershon is for real on "In Search of Cleo." She spends so much of the album showing off her serious side that it comes off as trying too hard. Even her cohort (and go-to collaborator these days) Linda Perry cannot keep things inline all the time. With a stronger selection of songs written for Gershon's range and a more refined focus, Gershon has potential to surprise listeners.

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