(09 April 2000) In the case of Liv Cummins' album Exactly (22 Records
(USA) 22-1012, 2000), one would be best not to judge the music by the
album cover. We're told by the producer that it was meant to show
her "wackier side." Liv is an accomplished singer and
songwiter as well as an attractive young woman—a better
photo is available on her website.
Originally from Minneapolis, Liv began performing in Los Angeles after
attending Skidmore in Saratoga and is now currently based in New York City.
Liv is vocally similar to Kate Bush yet lighter with a more contemporary
and creative along the lines of rising star
Michelle Young, her new seventeen-track album
Exactly produced with partner Sandy McKnight is certain to appeal
to a wide range of female vocal enthusiasts. You can listen to soundbites
at the artist's
mp3.com website. Liv's
debut album, Some Days remains in print and is available from the
Exactly is an album of varying styles. Short well-written
folk-rock songs, pop numbers and ballads comprise the vocally laced album.
Liv's vocal work is soft and sweet, evocative and sensual, and highly
polished. Well produced instrumental work includes guitars, cello, bass,
lush keyboards including Hammond organ parts and crisp percussion. Vocals
are naturally mixed way up, yet they are sung softly with only rare soaring
excursions. Frequent use of multi-tracked backing vocals adds to the
overall texture of the album's sound.
We especially liked the range of styles included on the album and
the balance between folk-rock, almost-pop, ballad and even an occasional
jazz-oriented number such as the stunning "Hurry Up Your Love" with its
uniquely sensual lead vocal part. The highly accessible, almost-pop
track "Deal" is especially notable and actually perfectly suited for
radio. The album's ballads are most like one would expect of Kate Bush
and, with heartfelt performaces, are the most vocally stunning songs
included. A multi-tracked and equally heartfelt contemporary cover of
"I'll Be Back" (J. Lennon/P. McCartney) is especially memorable.
Liv Cummins' Exactly is an excellent album with great vocal
work that should be explored further. Artwork includes full lyrics and
performing credits as well as a couple of non-descript photos. With
soundbites available both at mp3.com and cdbaby.com, online listeners
can easily do so. Liv's album Exactly can be obtained at
cdbaby.com. Worth a journey, the album is a very nice listen!