HIT & RUN
Emma Cook debuted on the solo scene in 2003 with the CD Manifesto. Hit & Run is her second solo effort, and it's a good one.
Cook, who hails from Southern Ontario has a sound that really crosses the genres, something you realize right from the opening cut This Boy. This Boy is one of those songs which could make MuchMusic, yet might also fall neatly under the category of jazz, with enough blues influence to catch fans of that genre too.
Song You Asked Me Not To Write follows that trend, again with jazz influences, a bit of stage musical sensibility, and again just on the edge of modern female soft rock vocals.
It might sound like the overall result would be a bit disjointed, but that is not the case. Cook has a voice with the range to easily encompass the various genres, and the lyrics work on the various levels too.
What I really appreciate here is the way this young vocalist has so skillfully written music that holds together so well as it crosses the genre barriers. Cook, who was classically trained, has certainly learned the basics well, and is now putting the knowledge to skillful use. She even manages a little country heart on the title cut, showing just how far she goes in dipping into different musical pools to achieve the finished product.
The best cut is Take It Or Leave It, a dark mood piece with compelling lyrics and great music.
This is certainly a young Canadian artist who has a vision to expand music beyond the comfortable pigeon-hole many artists are content to occupy. This CD is worth seeking out for that alone.
A very solid job by Cook who explores widely, yet keeps the finished product as a coherent musical piece.
You can check her out at www.emmacookmusic.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 27, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada