The Sound of White - Missy Higgins
Russell Degnan

Last year saw an interesting change in the Australian music scene. After a decade of dominance by post-grunge pub bands, and at a time when some of those bands were breaking out overseas, the artists I am listening to the most are almost all female. Missy Higgins was in the vanguard, dominating the top of the JJJ Hottest 100, but was joined by Sia, Sarah Blasko, New Buffalo, Little Birdy and soon, hopefully, the returning Angie Hart. There are others too, less well known, and still yet to find their way onto the radio, and into my collection.

Missy Higgins has enough talent that only a hack producer or a marketing guru could destroy it on her. She was smart enough to avoid both though she could do better. She reminds me of Fiona Apple, in the use of the piano, the raw voice, and the slow, jazz influenced melodies; but less angry and with a far simpler sound. The simplicity of the melodies is a curse on some songs, particularly the ballads, Any Day Now, Katie and The Sound of White which would have sounded better stripped down without the backing vocals and strings. I suspect - and have heard - that Missy is substantially better live, and she gives every impression of it. Hopefully on future albums she will dispense with the extras better left to bad pop-ballads. However, that complaint aside, this is a really good album; perfect for relaxing on a typically four-seasoned Melbourne day,

Track Highlights:

Don't Ever - Along with All for Believing this is a slow beginning to the album. Despite the strings, a really strong track.
Ten Days - The second single, made for radio with her most memorable chorus, but smooth and heartfelt as well.
This Is How It Goes - Very deep on the album for an upbeat, syncopated track. The most interesting track, vocally and musically.
They Weren't There - A moving finishing track, for the most part, mercifully left to Missy's vocals and the piano

Finer Things 5th February, 2005 19:31:48   [#] 

Comments

Skyhooks cover
Russ, have you heard her cover of the classic Skyhooks track "You just like me coz I'm good in bed"? It's a hoot, which probably explains why Triple J is flogging it heavily at the moment...
Rob  8th February, 2005 12:09:49  

No I haven't
Which is odd, because I have been listening to JJJ a lot lately. I'd listen more but their announcers irritate me - do you find it ironic, as I do, that a station that is known for complaining that "youth" don't have a voice talks to their listeners like children?

Side note: for those people googling for "Missy Higgins good in bed" I don't know where to find a copy either. Nor do I know the answer if it was a question.
Russ  9th February, 2005 13:40:41