Barbara Perry - Show Me Your Heart (2008)

Barbara Perry
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Sometimes a road takes a number of turns before it reaches its destination.  That certainly seems to be a metaphor for the creation of Show Me Your Heart, the debut album by singer/songwriter Barbara Perry.

A few years in the making, Show Me took a back seat to raising a family and a career outside of music.  But Perry took her life dream and began writing the dozen songs that would ultimately make up her belated musical coming out party.  She soon hooked up with noted producer Chris "Big Dog" Davis (Phil Perry, Vesta, Glenn Jones) and began work on this personal project.

Sometimes a road takes a number of turns before it reaches its destination.  That certainly seems to be a metaphor for the creation of Show Me Your Heart, the debut album by singer/songwriter Barbara Perry.

A few years in the making, Show Me took a back seat to raising a family and a career outside of music.  But Perry took her life dream and began writing the dozen songs that would ultimately make up her belated musical coming out party.  She soon hooked up with noted producer Chris "Big Dog" Davis (Phil Perry, Vesta, Glenn Jones) and began work on this personal project.

Though Davis's production gives parts of the album a soft R&B sheen, Show Me Your Heart is an unadulterated adult pop offering.  Perry's slight, girlish voice resembles that of the late Nicolette Larson, and she handles the generally slow to midtempo cuts in unassuming fashion.  The songs cover familiar topics of romantic love, and both Perry's poetry and tunes are quite accessible, with more than a small debt owed to the Carpenters, especially on "Show Me Your Heart" and "The Boy."

The album is at its best when it covers alternating rhythms such as Bossa Nova and Samba ("Like You Love Me," "Samba De La Playa," "Her Man"), as the varying rhythms give more depth to Perry's compositions and provide more contrast to her unpretentious vocals, a la 60s Sergio Mendes.  And Davis, who not only produces but also plays all instruments, give the disc a warm feel that makes it more attractive nighttime listening.

There's nothing earth-shattering on Show Me Your Heart, but it is nonetheless an enjoyable adult diversion, covering musical territory that is generally underrepresented this decade.  It also clearly serves to scratch an itch that Perry had, and provides a pleasant reminder of the pop singer/songwriter style than dominated music a quarter century ago.

By Chris Rizik

 

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