Leah Callahan
"Even Sleepers"

(Baraca 2003)Leah Callahan - Even Sleepers

Leah Callahan's "Even Sleepers" is as vocally driven an album as you can get, as she quickly hits nine tracks in just over twenty minutes. Callahan's delivery of her music is candid and sincere. It is this fact that leads you in for your initial listen and then keeps you listening until the end of the album. Both artsy and acapella, dramatic and with flair, "Even Sleepers" holds your attention and puts some melodies in your head in the process.

Callahan leads you into a French café setting with "Valentine" as a guitar plucks and an accordion serenades you. Smooth like "The Girl From Impanema," "The Sadness I Admire" is peppered by percussion and Callahan's sweet sounding vocals. Sing song vocals and purposely clunky instrumentation in Tom Waits' style make up "The Red Eye." Callahan's vocals and only a low, thumping bass are heard on "Better Than You" for a tranquil, clearing moment.

Similar to "Valentine," "Vampire Heart" is a sultry tune that comes together in the end as a round of two memorable lines. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, "Where You Are" is soft and repeating while "Love Some Thing" is gently thoughtful. Callahan transports you again on "Shocking Pink" "“ this time to a party a century ago where girls singing tunes about alcohol, complimented by dramatically pounding piano chords, entertain you. Completely acapella this time, "Strip Mall" loses its focus as Callahan adds a couple lines of vocalizing to the otherwise soft song.

Callahan carries herself confidently with her head up. "Even Sleepers" is not about anger. Instead, it provides nine short tracks that have just the right elements to appeal. Callahan does not have to worry about overdoing it, as the tracks last just long enough to keep you interested and wanting more.

B+

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