Judith Owen – Happy This Way

Judith Owen – Happy This Way Judith Owen
Happy This Way
(Courgette – 2007)
by Matt Robinson

Recalling everyone from Joni Mitchell to Barbara Streisand to Dusty Springfield to friend and harmonizer Cassandra Wilson, Welsh singer/songwriter Judith Owen is still able to have a voice of her own. And what a voice! From subtle and shivery to strong and sensual, Owen works her way through an impressive array of sounds and styles.

And the songs are just as original and far-reaching as the singer- ranging from the Celtic balladry of “Conway Bay” and the richly-layered poetic ode of “Nicholas Drake” to the noiry Jazz of “Cool Life” to the simply beautiful devotional “Carry.” Paying tribute to her familial roots with “My Father’s Voice” and the maternal title track, Owen stretches forward with the snappy remix of “Enough” and the pulsing Pop of “Painting by Numbers.” “Don’t do bright and don’t do breezy. / So I stick with what comes easy,” she chants in “Numbers.”

If this is “easy” to Owen, there is not much she can’t do! And while she may not be easily fit into a genre-specific box, she should surely be fit into your CD player immediately…and for a long time!

C. 2007 M. S. Robinson ARR