Somewhere in this Room
Cloudshine Global Music
This album begins with a bit of a shock — a 5:59-minute long instrumental that sounds more like a film score than the opening of a singer/songwriter record. I kept expecting to hear a voice; instead, a rush of violins continued to stir my emotions, making me wonder if I had popped in a classical CD by accident. Sure enough, by the second tune, “When You Come Down,” there was no doubt as to whose album this was. Nevertheless, the unpredictability doesn’t stop; whatever it was you were expecting from a singer/songwriter album, you’ll be proven wrong again and again by this record.
Laura Pursell is not a well-known figure in the music scene, and the commercial potential of this album is a gray area that I have no answers for. Simply put, this is a jaw-droppingly pretty album. At times illuminated by delicately woven strings, Pursell writes songs of love and loss with a different sonic treatment given to each poetic note, whether it’s jazzy easy listening, as on “When You Come Down,” or rocking, like “It Might As Well Be Magic,” or orchestral, as on the title cut. The amount of work put into this LP is fairly apparent; you can feel the smoothness of the textures, the polished edge of every hook.
However, I am at a complete loss as to how to classify this CD. Then again, that’s probably one of the biggest reasons it stands out, the way it shifts effortlessly from style to style, playing a game of musical chairs that leaves us guessing, yet enthralled all the way.
Laura Pursell: www.somewhereinthisroom.com