Lizzie West - self-titled EP

Lizzie West
Lizzie West

(Warner Bros.)

First Appeared at The Music Box, April 2003, Volume 10, #4

Written by John Metzger


Lizzie West has yet to release a full-length album — true, she put forth one independent release, but her similarly titled major label debut Holy Road: Freedom Songs, which is due in spring, most likely will just tweak it — and already she’s been popping up everywhere. The title track from the album was utilized in a high profile, Spike Lee-directed ad that ran on the major networks as well as MTV; two of her songs were featured on HBO’s Rock the Boat; and nearly three years ago she performed the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden prior to the start of a WNBA game. As if that isn’t enough, she already has filmed a documentary that revolves around her self-proclaimed journey to "find Leonard Cohen." So take heed, a major media blitz is coming.

In preparation, Warner Bros. has already issued a four-song EP designed to introduce West to the world. The disc is short — a mere four songs in length — so it’s a difficult task to determine how she will fare over the course of an entire album, not to mention a gigantic publicity campaign. Over four songs, however, she manages quite well, frequently recalling 10,000 Maniacs during its peak. The opening Sometime as well as the subsequent Chariots Rise are both delightful bits of breezy, radio-friendly, folk-pop, and the concluding Family Christmas follows a family’s passage of time in a simplistic, but emotionally touching way. As for her arrangement of Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man, West gives the song a sunnier disposition while retaining its murky barroom swing. For certain, the music business is a fickle one, but if West resists overexposure and continues to craft songs like these, she’ll be around for many years to come. starstarstar

Lizzie West EP is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2003 The Music Box