Annamania – Anna Elizabeth Laube (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If Anna Elizabeth Laube is a name unfamiliar to you, firstly, shame on you, and secondly, discerning music fans will be pleased to know that she has just released the perfect album for those wishing to explore her songs. Annamania is a retrospective collection, the hand-picked highlights of her previous four albums chosen by the artist herself and a great introduction to her graceful and gorgeous music.

Americana, country, folk music, which form the sonic cornerstones of her sound, are as much about the narrative as the sound, and in Anna Elizabeth Laube you have one of the best story-tellers, comparable to the likes of Joni Mitchell, especially her Blue album era, which is about as high an accolade as anyone in her field can hope to have bestowed.

All My Runnin’ is a delicately picked, acoustic folk tune but it is the way that her voice seems to drift across the top that makes the song so magical. And it is this beguiling quality that pulls the listener in, a blend of intimacy and understatement tempered with beguiling beauty and the ability to take you on a lyrical journey.

Beautiful Boy moves to a more buoyant country swing and I’m Gone is a shuffling, bluesy groover but it is often the more minimalist songs which, ironically, impact the most powerfully and with such poignancy. Songs such as Jardim di Estrella and its infusions of Mediterranian traditions and the utterly gorgeous Please Let It Rain In California Tonight,a perfect piano ballad if ever there was one.

As I said, Annamnia is an exquisite overview of Anna Elizbeth Laube’s, not inconsequential talents, one which tells stories as easily as it tugs heart-strings. By the time you get to the end, or even halfway through, this album, you will have made a note to explore her sumptuous back catalogue further. And that’s a fact.

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