With an impressive first effort under her belt, (Stories
of My Soul), Alicia comes back with a heart rending and emotive second
Cold Wars opens with "Be Okay", a folksy
warm up that sets the tone for a rollercoaster story that rips and tears
through every thrilling turn and drop.
"Stay" and "Air In My Veins" are musical and vocal
standouts. Alicia attacks with raw power on all emotional fronts. Drums
and guitar add flourish and drive these rock ballads.
Separating these hard drivers and giving you a moment to catch your
breath is NightChild, a sweet love ballad with tender harmonies reminiscent
of The Indigo Girls.
Alicia is good at playing both sides of a relationship war, but
especially excels at being the victor as she sings in the heartstring-tugging
"Less of Me". She exudes strength in the hardest and most
painful moments, admitting that maybe "the best thing for you is
less of me".
Alicia and her band, all solid and accomplished, crank up the velocity
again on a classically tinged, "Mystery of Your Blue"; strings
add luster to a story of a girl emerging from the dark as a result of
her father's offense.
"If I Could Be" and "Mazes" are poetic gems. Lilting
vocals and soft guitar on "Mazes" evoke a dreamy landscape,
but hold on tight, it's not long before a soul in pain is revealed.
The future should be exciting for this young, yet frightfully talented
singer/songwriter. Every track is distinct and the recording is solid
and full, belying the fact that it was recorded in Alicia's dorm room,
as the liner notes attest.
She's got the technique, soul and undaunted enthusiasm,
all she needs are people to go along with her on the ride.