Nashville Songwriting Sessions – Claudia Norris (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

nss_front__cnIf I gave the impression that the ukulele driven pop of Say Yes may be a bit of a gimmick, though in my defence I did say that Claudia Norris did it better than some more obvious examples of the concept, this 5 track e.p. gives you a lot more time to get to know the artist. It certainly puts to bed the idea that she is just a one trick pony as Nashville Songwriting Sessions proves to be a delight of pop styles.

Heartbeat aims for the same pop-dollar as the aforementioned single and for my money is the more obvious single but it is the three less obvious songs which say more about her potential and possible career path. Whilst they may aim for a more discerning and mature audience, they show that already she has a number of musical options on the table for when she has played out the teen market.

Stranger comes as a brilliant contrast to the vibrant pop which sits either side of it but it is a tastefully and elegant piano ballad which neatly showcases her vocal prowess and Stay is the sort of rootsy-pop crossover which has kept the likes of Taylor Swift relevant and ever evolving. Swan song, Love on Replay, also shows a different side to her work. A gentle, slow-grooving, electro-pop gem, that whilst being the less immediate song here speaks to her ability to write great album tracks rather than just aim for the hit single. It is this song which I think says more about where she may be a few albums down the line, a blend of vibrant pop, and cool and clever writing.

On the strength of Say Yes it was easy to not give Claudia Norris the benefit of the doubt, easy to write her off as just another fashion follower and band-wagoner. On the strength of these five songs it is easier to see her as one of the movers and shakers of the future.


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