Saturday, March 29, 2014

Great Review in NJ Star Ledger

Thanks so much, Tris McCall for this beautiful review.

Rock River
Deena (Life Force)

Longtime fans of Hoboken music ought to recognize Deena Shoshkes as the frontwoman of the Cucumbers, an outfit that paired B-52’s-style whimsy with profound romantic uncertainty. Shoshkes is still preoccupied with affairs of the heart, but on the country-pop "Rock River," her lovely new solo set, she approaches passion, dissatisfaction and longing with the discerning eye of a survivor. Her believable, sympathetic characters reread love letters in a desperate attempt to fan the flames, work a good cry into their Sunday routines and reconcile themselves to the perils of physical distance; even Superman, it seems, is having trouble with his wife. These stories have been paired with some of the warmest melodies of Shoshkes’ career and the crispest instrumental performances that ever have backed her up. The radiant "We’ll Take It From There," the sauntering "Heart Full of Now" and the delicate "Comes With Kisses" feel like sonic expressions of emotional states, and for the first time in her career, Shoshkes, who still sings with the innocence of a blushing schoolgirl, handles her ballads as skillfully as her impish upbeat numbers. Producer Rob Friedman decorates "When I Fall" and "Bring It All," two of the best songs here, with weeping steel guitar; hopefully he'll be there on Saturday night when Shoshkes officially releases "Rock River" at Tierney's in Montclair.

— Tris McCall

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