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Jackie Allen: My Favorite Color

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Eight years’ absence from the recording studio has done nothing to diminish Jackie Allen’s allure. The voice-dusky, mellow and wise-is as spellbinding as ever, now shot through with a captivating world-weariness, her folk-rock roots clearly showing. Though My Favorite Color‘s inclusive playlist includes a tender, bruised “Born to Be Blue,” the album’s title is to be taken figuratively, Allen exploring various musical hues and shades that intrigue her.

There are jazz standards: a lithe “A Sleepin’ Bee” that seems plucked fresh from an antebellum plantation; a gorgeous, near-baroque rendering, alone with guitarist John Moulder, of “Blame It on My Youth”; and an extraordinary “My Man’s Gone Now” that progresses from woe to rage before it settles into resigned gloom.

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