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Térez Montcalm : Voodoo

A familiar name to French Canadians, singer/guitarist/bassist Térez Montcalm has, after a decade of French releases, delivered her first album in English, running the gamut from Mercer and Motown to Jimi Hendrix, Annie Lennox and Elton John. Montcalm’s heavily accented voice is intriguing, simultaneously suggesting Blossom Dearie and Claudine Longet, with a raspy dash of Stevie Nicks and an occasionally retro feel reminiscent of fellow Quebecer Susie Arioli. Stylistically, though, Montcalm is a bit much. She needs to soften her edges, temper her flourishes and calm her tendency to venture into Celine Dion-esque melodrama. Of the three self-penned tracks included here, “Growing Stronger” is a run-of-the-mill love song which Montcalm claims was inspired by “non-stop listening” to Anita Baker, and “Shattered,” meant to examine the fragmented beauty of light through stained glass, is awkward and heavy. Best is “Parce que y a toi,” the disc’s sole French track, a multi-hued celebration of home’s joys and comforts that demonstrates Montcalm is still most relaxed in her native language.

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