If you want teenage pout, gangster angst or beefy punk, go somewhere else. But if you're looking for intelligent, thought provoking lyrics, music with a sense of space, lush vocals and instrumentation that is unusual but groovy, then this is probably up your musical alley.
In Linda's alley you may find traces of Doris Day, Dusty Springfield, the Andrew Sisters and Ella Fitzgerald. It's a place Rickie Lee Jones and Tori Amos might meet for a drink and have a jam. It would have lots of colour and funky little chairs and cafe tables. And you could sit in that alley for hours listening or chatting, or reading a book. In fact, make yourself at home!
Linda’s 'left-of-centre' pop style songs mix hip-hop, blues and jazz with great story-telling and a hint of characterisation. And a contemporary cabaret style performance, the product of her background in musical theatre as well as rock, soul and pop covers bands, has inspired such descriptions as “silk to the eyes, ears and throat… the audience love her as she is warm, friendly and vocally wholesome …. A complete package.” (Iain McGuire, Artistic Director of Mad Cow Theatre Company)
Michael Diamond (ReviewYou.com) reviews
DUEL (2007 Linda Wood, EasyPeasy Music)
Although Australia-based singer-songwriter Linda Wood has been compared to Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Rickie Lee Jones, and even a bit of Doris Day, she is a true original with her own style – described, perhaps tongue in cheek, but somewhat accurately, as “quirk pop.” In truth, her music is a melting pot of divergent spices and flavors that come together in one of the most unique sonic blends that I’ve heard in a long time. Threads of jazz, blues, Latin, hip-hop, techno, pop, and cabaret, create a musical tapestry on which her diverse vocal stylings are embroidered. On the title track an ambient synthesizer sound and slide guitar open the album, providing a brief intro reminiscent of Pink Floyd, which soon dissipates into a groove of bongo drums and a funky hip-hop beat, with subtle flourishes on accordion providing a surrealistic touch. At this point, you know you are in for something out of the ordinary.
The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. Besides being an extraordinary vocalist, Linda Wood is a talented and imaginative songwriter and storyteller, with her compositions and arrangements enticing the listener through unexpected twists and turns. Choosing a few highlights on the album is difficult, because there are so many worthy choices, and I genuinely loved everything on it. From the Santana-like vibe of “Goodbye Perfectionist”, to the jazzy Stray Cat Strut jive of “Get Out Of My Life” with it’s Andrew Sisters style harmonies, to the driving techno tribal beat and middle Eastern-inflected vocals of “Peter Pan”, there is so much to like. There’s also an unlisted bonus song at the end – a poignant ballad about loss and healing.
One of the most quirky, yet endearing songs is “Bittersweet,” a psychedelic carnival ride of a tune, complete with yodeling, triangle, and tuba that would not have been out of place on an early Frank Zappa record or Fellini soundtrack. While there are some offbeat combinations of instruments and elements on the album, they are artfully integrated and add textures that put a stamp of originality on the music. But it is clearly the vocal talent of Linda Wood that is the shining star here and illuminates an emotional gamut from sassy and sultry to longing and vulnerable. She is seemingly capable of handling any style with ease and grace, as well as having done an outstanding job of multi-tracking background vocals and harmonies in interesting ways.
“Duel” is a very professional sounding and extremely well produced CD with a lot of obvious attention to detail in the musical production as well as in the album’s artwork, which has a bit of a Stevie Nicks ambience. Some of the arrangements are intricate yet accessible. The deeply expressive and artistic nature of “Duel” is no surprise considering Linda’s extensive background in musical theatre, having been involved in productions in Australia, England, and New York. This album reveals an impressive talent with great potential, and one that will, I’m sure, develop a loyal following as listeners discover the genre blending alchemy of Linda Wood’s music.