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May 2003

Kelly Harland
Twelve Times Romance
Origin Records

Through no real fault of her own, fellow Seattleite Kelly Harland fares less well with her debut effort, Twelve Times Romance (Origin). Harland, who closely resembles actress Teri Garr, has a fresh, sunny sound garnished with a healthy dollop of Lena Horne's phrasing. The former backup singer and respected vocal coach handles a broad spectrum of standards, ranging from the plaintive regret of "Too Late Now" to the Broadway bravado of "I Believe in You," with consistent aplomb. Trouble is, she is constantly overwhelmed by the grandiosity of pianist Ted Brancato's Herb Alpert-esque arrangements. Only on "I've Never Been in Love Before," a track not arranged by Brancato, is Harland provided with a suitable backdrop. The result, filled with wide-eyed excitement, is charming.

Originally published in May 2003
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