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Erin Boheme: What a Life

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When teenaged Wisconsinite Erin Boheme made her recording debut in 2006, she opted for a too-mature style that suggested Marilyn Monroe by way of Billie Holiday. Now, at age 25, Boheme has settled into a far more age-appropriate groove that seems composed of equal parts Sophie Milman and Taylor Swift. Last time out, Boheme also favored several tunes geared toward an older, more seasoned performer. Here, Boheme’s largely original material (among the 10 tracks there are only two covers, one from David Foster and another from Miranda Lambert) is better suited to her age and demeanor.

The album’s producer is Michael Bublé, marking the crooner’s first venture on the opposite side of the mic. Bublé was, as is widely documented, a protégé of Foster’s. So it’s hardly surprising that he favors Foster-esque arrangements throughout. Every track is, it seems, another opportunity to transform a simple, pretty love song into a slice of steamrolling pop. Bublé also lent Boheme his touring band-pianist Alan Chang, guitarist Dino Meheghin, bassist Craig Polasko and drummer Robb Perkins-an able foursome, surely well versed in the nuts and bolts of Foster-esque overproduction, complete with waves of syrupy strings.

There are some solid tunes buried in the excess, particularly the forthright “In My Shoes,” the gently swinging “He Isn’t You” and the tender, Henry Mancini-inspired title track. Boheme also duets with her producer on Lambert’s “I’d Love to Be Your Last.” Surprisingly, though, given that Bublé’s pulling the strings, he sounds oddly detached throughout.

Originally Published