Lisa, born and raised around New York City is without doubt an accomplished singer songwriter and musician, but it is her voice that is the most beautiful part of this album. Her first release was eighteen years ago and this being her third raises the question as to why we have so little of her material available. With a recording career longer than most bands life times I am in awe at the quality of I’ll Waltz before I go, this is a true musical treasure.
By Martin Frank
With hints of the incredible female guitarists of the eighties, Michelle Shocked and Suzanne Vega I find the purity of her voice as rich as anything Simon and Garfunkel have done and then she blows the recording open with tracks as full swing as Imelda May. Care and precision have gone into this record to present a whole host of musical moments as glorious as any painting in an exhibition. Everywhere you listen you hear something new, a word perfectly placed and sounds that makes you tap your feet, smile and want to dance.
The album starts the rich beautiful sound of a racing acoustic guitar accompanied perfectly with Lisa’s wonderful voice Watching the Ducks, a head swaying tune filled with the joys of a summer meadow before heading South for a real Country song Forward or Back. Then we are treated to a real sixties feeling track, a sweet little number where we can all relate to the end of the weekend in Monday comes to soon. There are gems a plenty here, such a rich tapestry of great tracks, Free Verse is filled with harmonies and followed by the haunting swing wonder of an ear worm that I’ve been humming for days, Cookies and Whiskey, a gold old fashioned catchy tune that will stay with you too. There isn’t an average track here, perhaps that’s why she has so long between albums, because this sounds like a “Best of…” album.
The title track, I’ll Waltz Before I Go, is one that I find myself singing badly to in the car, it’s a hearty song but to be fair, anyone of these tracks could have led the album because it’s a not to be missed treat. There is a recent trend in the production of albums to produce a range of tracks covering several genres, the old-style album is dead because we are much more fickle than we used to be. We carry our playlists around with us on our phones and listen to what we want, when we want it and mix and match our musical tastes to suit our mood. What Lisa gives us here is a playlist of music, not just thirteen songs in a variety of styles but a perfect mixture of gentle easy listening tunes and fun light-hearted swing that makes you feel good all over to listen to. Treat yourself, this is fabulous.