Julie Moffitt - Everything I Never Asked For
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2005
Review by Tony BonyataShowcasing her influences in rock, jazz and blues, singer and multi-instrumentalist Julie Moffitt has just released her debut album entitled Everything I Never Asked For. On it the Milwaukee (by way of Los Angeles) resident successfully mixes edgier numbers ("Movin' On" and "Back To You") with heartfelt ballads ("Stolen" and "Slow") and more traditional singer / songwriter fare ("Let Him Be" and "All She Really Wants"), offering a broad palette of color, texture and emotions.
Produced by Mike Hoffmann (The Verve Pipe / Willy Porter / Todd Bowie / Thomas Kovacs) the arrangements prove to be almost as engaging as Moffitt's sumptuous voice. While Julie offers a sultry, sexy vocal delivery on the opening (and arguably strongest) track "Movin' On," Hoffmann (who, along with Moffitt, plays the lion's share of the instruments throughout this effort) lays down a cocky blues guitar riff over a rhythmic hip-hip shuffle. Likewise on the intoxicating "Back To You," a spooky organ and harrowing guitar dance atop a deep hip-hop groove while Julie teases listeners with her cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor.
Proving herself just as adept at pure pop, Moffitt delivers a radio-ready slice of modern rock on the graceful track "Second Guesses," complete with an indelible melody, catchy chorus and warm harmonies.
Despite the blues and jazz influences running through her veins, Moffitt instead buries these influences just under the surface on numbers such as the piano-driven balladry of "Westbound Train" which features an earthy blues harmonica from Gary Messinger, as well as the smoky jazz undertones that swirl around the perky bass-line and skittish simplistic percussions from Violent Femmes' drummer Victor De Lorenzo on "Strange Infatuation."
While much of the subject matter revolves around flawed relationships and lost love, the spirit of the music throughout this album is, nonetheless, uplifting and positive. And it's this spirit that will certainly draw fans toward this talented musician.
Julie Moffitt's CD Everything I Never Asked For can be ordered from CDBaby.com at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jmoffitt
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