American singer, songwriter and producer Anna Elizabeth Laube’s fourth album ‘Tree’ features mainly self-penned tracks along with covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘Wallflower’ and Beyonce’s ‘XO’.
Laube’s voice is beautiful and the gentle, bluegrassy, old-timey sound she creates is truly lovely. She completely nails the music bit. I was all geared up to love this album – but the bit that doesn’t work quite so well is the lyric. In such an established, well-trodden genre as Laube’s, you really need to express yourself in original, unusual ways and Laube just doesn’t manage to do this well enough. Her songs err on the side of cliché which makes the album sound a bit hollow.
The highlight of ‘Tree’ is ‘Please Let it Rain in California Tonight’ a beautiful and raw ballad addressing the Californian drought – these are the songs that Laube should be writing and singing, I look forward to more of this. A little more rawness and innovation and she’ll be something pretty special.