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MESS YOU UP
This warm, spirited pop-folk outing is buoyed primarily by Boston-based singer-songwriter Beth Boucherís voice, a clear instrument with a touch of huskiness and a playful way of phrasing thatís a perfect companion for the vein of humor that runs through many of her lyrics. Most of the album is sparked by clever electric-guitar work ó slide lines that underscore the emotional push-pull of "Gimme Some Time" or weird, oscillating tones that make love, the elusive thing of "Elusive Thing," sound like an alien spacecraft hovering just beyond the heartís radar. Boucherís use of objects like a freezer door to symbolize romantic resistance, or little moves like having a heroine light her cigarette on a gas-stove flame, make her love songs lively and colorful. Nonetheless, by the end of the disc it seems like sheís run low on arrangement ideas. The guitars become less textural and the songs suffer for it. But for most of this disc, Boucher hovers above the line of indistinguishable singer-songwriters who are as overabundant these days as nü-metal bands were two years ago.
BY TED DROZDOWSKI