MAIA SHARP’s “Echo”
(Crooked Crown, 2009): In my book, Sharp is one of the most under-rated singer-songwriters on the scene today, and that opinion is only underscored by this new album featuring a dozen songs that she wrote or co-wrote.
Although still better known as a songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by everyone from Cher to Kim Richey to Shivaree, Sharp released her debut recording a dozen years ago.
The problem, perhaps, is that she works within the pop tradition, rather than embracing folk or alt-country territory. She’s smart and sexy, and if I was forced to make a direct comparison, Sharp probably most reminds me of Karla Bonoff’s debut album.
While her music flows within the pop tradition, she definitely thinks (and writes) outside the box. This album, for example, opens with the simple declaration, “I will never be a part of your polite society.”
Producer Don Was brings the requisite radio sheen to the mix, along with veteran studio pros like drummer Jim Keltner and guitarist Mark Goldenberg. Bonnie Raitt drops by for a feature spot on “Death by Perfection,” too.