Thursday 24 Apr
 
 

Norman rock well

Norman Music Festival

6 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and noon-2 a.m. Saturday

Downtown Norman

normanmusicfestival.com

Free

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Grouplovin’ it

Grouplove with MS MR and Smallpools

6:30 p.m. Monday

Diamond Ballroom

8001 S. Eastern Ave.

diamondballroom.net

677-9169

$22-$24

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Hear and now

Hear the Music Tour with The Warren Brothers and Lance Miller

6-10 p.m. Friday

Rodeo Opry

2221 Exchange Ave.

songsforsound.com

$35-$50

04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Odyssey of the mind

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey 

with Culture Cinematic and ADDverse Effects

9 p.m. Friday

Twisted Root Gallery

3012 N. Walker Ave.

twistedrootgallery.com

208-4288

$10

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

Frndz with benefits

Boyfrndz with Bored Wax and The Hitt Boyz

9 p.m. Sunday

Blue Note Lounge

2408 N. Robinson Ave.

thebluenotelounge.com

600-1166

$5

04/16/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · CDs · Pop · Suzanna Choffel — Steady Eye Shaky...
Pop
 

Suzanna Choffel — Steady Eye Shaky Bow


Sultry singer/songwriter tunes with some high highs

Stephen Carradini June 8th, 2011

Singer/songwriter Suzanna Choffel sounds best when she’s feeling sinister.

suzannachoffel

The tracks on “Steady Eye Shaky Bow” that catch attention have a sultry, dangerous vibe about them; the tracks that don’t work sound like average jazz standards.

Choffel kicks off her latest album with “Archer,” from which the album takes its title. The jagged rhythms and herky-jerky propulsion of the verses are met by a low, smooth chorus; she connects the parts by applying her come-hither alto to both. Her controlled but powerful performance is an immediate attention-grabber.

She follows with “Raincloud,” which features a few less jagged edges, but a whole lot more attitude in the horn-packed arrangement and a brash vocal performance. There’s still an edge, and it’s the undercurrent that keeps things fresh.

“So the Story Goes” is the first of the forgettable tracks; it’s nice, but who wants to be remembered as pleasant when “dangerous/fascinating” is on the table? “Animal” redeems the former track by investing a similar pleasant acoustic backdrop with a powerful vocal performance of an excellent melody and lyric (“You’re a liar / And that’s what kind of animal you are / You are, you are!” — ouch).

But the highlight of the whole shebang is “Stumble,” which turns toward Portishead-style trip-hop as a vehicle for Choffel’s pipes. Mildly distorting the vocals only makes the song all the more haunting (and brilliant).

The back half of the album isn’t as interesting; “Hold of the Night” tries to appropriate the earlier fire, but it’s not there in her voice. “Racecar” is solid, but the melody isn’t as memorable, and the vibe not as fine-tuned. The spare acoustic closer “Come Clean” is one of her only moments of effective vulnerability, but it makes for a nice conclusion to the album.

The high points of “Steady Eye Shaky Bow” are so high that they make the low ones stick out badly. Ignore the chaff and enjoy the excellent, sultry tunes. —Stephen Carradini
 
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