Cameron Dezen, Love + Rescue

Cameron Dezen, <em>Love + Rescue</em>

On Love + Rescue, her first album since 2000’s acclaimed Mary’s Daughter, singer/songwriter Cameron Dezen raises the stakes. Instead of opting for a traditional band and strings, like most singers in this genre would do, Dezen uses samples and electronics as the backdrop for most of the songs on the album, which not only gives the album a modern sound (think Frou Frou), but helps keeps the songs fresh. It’s rare that subdued rhythms and low-key drumbeats work this well — producer Matt Hammon also handles a lot of the Love + Rescue‘s programming and instrumentation, along with David Rice and bassists Ben White and Rigo Flores, and when coupled with Dezen’s beautiful piano work, the result is often stunning.

It’s Dezen’s voice and lyrics, though, that are the main attraction here, and her sultry vocals quickly draw the listener into her songs. The emotions run deep on Love + Rescue, and whether she sings about loving or fighting, Dezen’s ability to capture the complete attention of her audience is her greatest strength. The album’s strongest song, “Just Like Me,” is an upbeat, danceable song that should easily make modern rock radio. It’s instantly catchy, a track that will have listeners immediately reaching for “Repeat.” Her slower tunes are haunting, as well, especially the irresistible-yet-disturbing “Hands Up” (“Put your hands up / All in love is fair / But you don’t have to care about me / Put your hands up / All in war is right / You may not want to fight tonight / But I might”).

On “Didn’t I,” her emotional outpouring is almost overwhelming. Dezen sings, “I know that people change / I know that people try / Didn’t I? / Daddy, wasn’t it ‘daddy’ / Never got the chance / To see you dance with me.” Her honesty, low-key delivery, and songwriting skills are a dynamic combination, and one that puts the Houston singer/songwriter on par with more established artists like Sarah MacLachlan, Tori Amos, and Aimee Mann.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the vocals. Dezen’s voice seems familiar no matter what range the song requires, and her music easily out-Toris Tori and out-Sarahs Sarah (with much more style, as well). Hopefully Love + Rescue will give her music the mainstream attention it deserves.

(self-released; Cameron Dezen --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, March 1st, 2005. Filed under Reviews.

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