Review Summary: Let love through the darkness
Throughout I’ll Sing
, Shannen Moser reveals a strong understanding of relationships – not only the influence they have on us but also the inner turmoil they create. “Haircut Song” is a deeply poignant, often haunting portrayal of the power this human connection has over us. Recalling a relationship, she presents us with a different kind of love song: You said I’m doomed to love you, and that’s the truth/It’s a sort of ***ed up way to say it, but I loved you too.
As the song progresses, she lays bare her desperation when things go sour: A Broken heart will convince itself of many things/I will silence my own beating heart, that’s the sh*t you don’t want to hear/I would sell myself out for a lifetime of "I love you, love you, my dear".
The song is beautiful, sarcastic and heartbreaking all at once. It hits all the right receptors in the brain, leaving you wanting more; this is ok, because the rest of I’ll Sing
delivers the goods.
Although Moser’s lyrics are her greatest asset - giving I’ll Sing
an extra bite through witty storytelling - there’s no denying her skill as a musician. Effortlessly blending folk, blues and country, there’s a good deal of variety throughout her songwriting. Sometimes, we get nothing but the dialed-down plucking of a guitar, but “Hallelujah” busts out the banjos and enters borderline ho-down mode as it progresses. Whichever method she employs, all the songs are given an extra jolt of life by her soaring vocals and relatable themes of love and friendship. “One For Mama” is a real tear-jerker, with bluesy guitars and strings making way for the croon of Momma, I’m never too old for your love.
And as she closes with the Americana-tinged title-track, she makes it apparent she plans on making the best of life – pressing on and “singing” even in its most vicious moments. It’s one hell of a way to conclude such a powerful album; the slower pace allows her voice to really capture the moment in perhaps her most alluring performance here. If any of the tracks could be called soulful, this is it. It’s only one piece of the gorgeous puzzle, though. In its entirety, I’ll Sing
is overwhelmingly affective – one of those albums that connects with you on a personal level. There are other notable songwriters this year, but few of them, if any, have as much to say as Shannen Moser does on her gripping sophomore effort.