Combining the open wound delivery of Patty Griffin with the breezy elegance of Deadstar's Caroline Kennedy, Atoosa Grey is a singer/songwriter of tremendous talent. On her fourth full-length effort, When The Cardinals Come, the New Yorker takes a long look at love, desire and all the closed-fisted miles the heart has to travel by itself before it can finally open.
-Caught in the Carousel, Alex Green
Atoosa Grey writes on many levels, and I suspect that if you sit five people down to listen to When The Cardinals Come you'd have a number of songs here that would end up with five interpretations. For me, When The Cardinals Come seems to dwell in the chasm that exists between hope and hopeless melancholy. Atoosa Grey manages to pluck all the strands of tragic beauty from the cloth that binds these two states and weaves them into elegant musical vignettes. I suspect it's one of those albums you'll still have and play regularly ten or twenty years from now; the musical version of a fine wine.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5) - Wildy's World, Wildy Haskell
NYC based singer/songwriter Atoosa Grey was born in Tehran, Iran and raised in NJ. Her new album is stylistically varied, and veers from Americana to folk to beautifully haunting piano ballads. Its title references the red birds that reappear throughout the record to symbolize ideas of hope and luck. The album draws inspiration from some of Atoosa’s favorite poets, including Mary Oliver and Hafiz. Her songs explore hope and freedom, insecurity and desire, and are infused with a spiritual, mystical feeling. For Atoosa, whose mother believed birds were visiting spirits when she was growing up, this record signals a key moment for her as a songwriter where she has incorporated her various influences—Eastern and Western, musical and literary, personal and universal.
When the Cardinals Come was produced by her husband Noel Grey, and the supporting musicians include Atoosa’s longtime guitarist James Mastro, pianist/organist Rob Burger, bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Ben Perowsky. All of them were instrumental in guiding Atoosa’s honest, heartfelt songs to their full potential.