Missy Higgins - The Sound Of White

There aren't an awful lot of female singer songwriters from Australia. Most of them have had a soap like Natalie Imbruglia (Neighbours) or musical movies in the case of Olivia Newton John (Grease) to raise their profile to an international level. Missy Higgins is one sister who's doing it for herself, a woman who can play the piano, sing and play acoustic guitar. Naturally she's joined by a fine group of talented musicians to broaden her sound even more, but this is Missy's words, music and vision captured with skill, devotion, love and care.

"All For Believing" has Missy sounding like a less kooky Tori Amos with a mature husky voice a thousand miles away from Vanessa Carlton. The harmonizing is under played, but he short bursts of vocals are like a chorus of angels. With just cello and piano this is a sombre, very grown up song with a genuine sense of spirituality in the lyrics that's uplifting and a real tonic.

"Nightminds" sees Missy take on the blues and you can really hear her strong Australian accent when she sings. Ken Wiley on French horn and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards make this more of a real band sound. Miss Higgins also adapts herself well with some really prolific lyrics like "But I will to breathe this ugliness you see". This is a song to relax to with it's pure beauty and uncommercial air of artistic expression.

"The River" is a jazzy, summery song with a gutsy vocal from our Antipodean chanteuse. A melodic rootsy track with an upright bass and lap steel guitar laying on a folky, country feel which gives this track a quaint feeling of yesteryear with a contemporary sheen. "This Is How It Goes" is much more uptempo and has much in common with Fiona Apple with the mood of the song and some illustrious piano hooks. Missy successfully attempts some jazz fused scat which is another string to her bow. You can really feel the self confidence of a singer songwriter who has a voice you can fall in love with very easily.

"The Sound Of White" explores the female psyche with pin point precision and uses many different styles of music successfully without any pretension. Missy Higgins comes across as a natural performer and is without doubt one of the most promising acts i've heard in a while

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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