Long Island Shores
Mindy Smith came bursting onto the scene two years ago with her powerfully understated debut, One Moment More. Now she’s back with more of the same on her follow-up, Long Island Shores.
Mindy Smith does not have the widest range or most powerful voice, but if she did, these songs would seem overblown and rote. Her breathy vocals showcase an understated passion that may seem dull to some. To those who believe that, I have one word: listen. Listen to the words and the way that Smith’s vocals swirl with the music to go directly to your soul.
Take the love song “What If the World Stops Turning?” For all intents and purposes, this song should be mind-numbingly boring, like James Taylor. But Smith is able to tap into the inner thoughts and feelings of every person with a soul. It also helps to have Buddy Miller as your duet partner.
“You Know I Love You Baby” is a fantastically upbeat folky bluegrass number that is anchored by the instruments (mandolin, guitar, light drums), but once Smith starts singing, all of that fades to the background. She can command your attention with little more than a whisper. “Little Devil” has one of the most heartbreaking choruses that Smith delivers with utmost sincerity: “He pulls me in/ Tears me down/ Chews me up/ Just to spit me out/ He holds me close/ Like he’s my best friend/ And I open up/ He steals everything/ He’s gone again.”
Long Island Shores is a perfect sequel to Smith’s debut. It doesn’t deviate from her pattern there, but it does further solidify her as a young singer/songwriter who is here to stay and here to make some noise. Even if it is just above a whisper.
Vanguard Records: http://www.vanguardrecords.com