They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same goes for CDs. Pick up a copy of Laura Comfort‘s new album Don’t Ignore Me, and you may think this is all about the look and not much about the sound – style over substance. But you’d be very wrong.
I’m No Barbie is the title of track 3, and it applies. Laura may have the long blonde hair and slim, gym-toned physique, but this is no collection of empty-headed pop songs. Laura graduated from Harvard, and began a career as a financial journalist, before choosing the career path of singer-songwriter.
That path was already well-signposted for her. Influenced by musical parents. she sang in school choirs, and wrote poetry before making her first album with an a cappella group in high-school.
Originally from New York, but now a confirmed Londoner, Laura’s sound is distinctly American, though she has enjoyed British chart success and airplay hits from her first two albums. And now comes her third, Don’t Ignore Me.
Labelled ‘folk-pop’, it’s perhaps more ‘country-rock’, though there are a lot of other musical genres in evidence here – perhaps partly because the album is produced by John Ryan, whose musical career began as a jazz DJ and whose production credits include work with Santana.
Laura has been compared with Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson, but she is very much her own woman – she wrote the music and lyrics for 11 of the 12 songs on the album, the only exception being the poppy Angelina Jolie.
There’s a rich variety of tracks here, from the rocky Come Take a Ride, with its sing-a-long chorus, and the equally catchy Cherry Lips, to the almost electro-pop style of Before It’s Too Late, and the danceable, lyrically simpler, I’m Going Crazy.
There are a couple of sorrowful ballads too – It Hurts, a kind of country-influenced lament, and the heartbreaking Goodbye, in which the words are at times almost spoken, rather than sung.
I confess Laura’s isn’t the kind of music I would naturally turn to (or review here) – outside my ‘Comfort Zone’, you might say. But that’s my loss – I like this album a lot, and I think its catchy tunes and smart lyrics will appeal to many others too.
I’ve reviewed some other albums recently: by Gina Carey, Erin Dickins, and Zeeteah Massiah.