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Jill Barber - For All Time

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 7 / 6 / 2008

Jill Barber - For All Time
Label: Dependent Music
Format: CD


Low-key, but long overdue and pretty-sounding second album from accomplished American singer-songwriter Jill Barber, who sounds like a less calculated Norah Jones

I saw Jill Barber last August, the night before I went on holiday. She was supporting Stephanie Dosen at a country evening in the Spitz club. Although Dosen is now quite famous, having sung with Massive Attack and been featured on 'Jools Holland', it was Barber’s set that got the best reception from the crowd that evening. I bought this album from the merch stand as soon as she left the stage, but it has finally only now been given an official British release. If you find Norah Jones a little too good to be true, 'For All Time' may be to your taste. There is the same warm and fuzzy sound, the same gentle melodic qualities, the same themes of love and loss - but none of the studied sense of cool. Barber’s jazz, folk and country influences are probably the same as Jones’, but it sounds a lot less calculated. I still find reason to play 'For All Time' over and over again, almost a year after I first heard it - and there aren’t many albums you can say that about. There is ‘Don’t Go Easy’, which is almost absurdly catchy ; ‘Legacy’, a poignant song written for a deceased friend ; ‘For All Time’, the best of the album’s break-up songs and ‘Starting To Show’, which brings the record to a delightful close, awash with strings and Barber’s most powerful performance. Having said that, I don’t want to oversell this album. It’s a low key affair, with eleven pretty songs about love and loss, and is about as likely to be enjoyed by an Arctic Monkeys fan as I am to play test match cricket for England. But these songs have a McCartney-like directness that nuzzles into your subconscious. If she was gnarled and in her 50's, we’d all be applauding a great survivor. As she’s pretty and in her 20's, we pay no attention at all, which is as curious a signal of the state pop has got itself into as I can think of.

Track Listing:-
1 Just for Now
2 Don't Go Easy
3 When I'm Makin' Love to You
4 Ashes to Ashes
5 Hard Line
6 For All Time
7 Legacy
8 Two Brown Eyes
9 Goodnight Sweetheart
10 The Knot
11 Starting to Show

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