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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth













I don't know what it is in the water lately but the amount of talented, moody and vocally skilled women releasing albums has risen to staggering proportions. My Brightest Diamond's 'A Thousand Shark's Teeth' is yet another one of these albums.

My Brightest Diamond is the project of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden. Shara has been performing music since 1998 and has even performed with Sufjan Stevens as a member of the Illinoismakers. Reportedly, the album was originally meant to be a more classical, 'A Thousand Shark's Teeth' was slowly crafted over the last six years to become what it is now. You can tell from listening to the album that a lot of thought and feeling went into it's creation. The record, which was mixed by Husky Höskulds (he's mixed Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Fantômas and many more), was recorded in Berlin, Los Angeles and New York City, and features twenty different musicians. According to Shara, she was influenced by artists such as Tricky, French composer Maurice Ravel and Tom Waits and it shows on the album. The songs, which discuss topics like intimacy, kisses by moonlight, laundry, lost friendship and more, use instruments (harps, clarinets, French horns, guitars and vibraphones to name a few) to create an unique and compelling listening experience.

The album opener and first single, 'Inside A Boy', is a perfect example of Shara and her style. Using guitars, strings and her voice to take the listener on a roller coaster of a ride. 'Bass Player' uses strings, with great effect, to build the energy of the track to a fervor only to slowly fade away and leaves you wanting more. 'Black and Costaud' borrows lyrics from a Ravel opera and shows more of Shara's amazing vocal range. 'Like a Sieve' supposedly samples a Tricky song (I couldn't figure out which one) and 'The Brightest Diamond' pairs a vibraphone and Shara's voice with wonderfully soothing results.

It is refreshing to see so many talented female vocalist doing highly original work. My Brightest Diamond is one of the most interesting and creative artist I have heard in years. This would be a great addition to anyone's music collection.


7 out of 10.



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