Color My World is a reminder of all that is right and good in the world. It’s a refresher that we do need people in our corners, and we can’t go at this thing we call life alone, even when all else, including the system, seems to have failed. Singer Annette Adler, a Californian with what I can only presume has a heart of gold, transforms a guitar-bed musical landscape into a folksy-pop residue in each of the 13 tracks on this sonic odyssey. I liken her songs to a homey, bitch-watching of Hallmark Channel Christmas. You can’t stop watching and just want to have a smile on your face.
Adler, who calls Los Angeles home, is also a music teacher. Perhaps it’s that natural patience and strong sense of melody that serves her so well in songs like “It Feels Forever”, “Years” “Feel Alright” and “No Tellin’”. Gleaning some of that rustic flare and smokier vocals from such country greats as Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline, songs like “Sister Harmony” and “Waves of Blue” paint a solid picture of her optimism and lyrical strength.
Adler’s musical background also includes a stint as a professional wedding singer – leaving me to believe that she’s seasoned at keeping a crowd entertained and able to sing a range of vocal styles. “Just Like That” and “Call Me Crazy” have a perfect blend of honesty, entertainment and flirtation. I loved the way the guitar is presented. It’s never brash or flashy. It’s precisely as it should be. It’s a healthy sound that is enriched with the California sunrays, and maybe even a nod to the folk songs of the Sixties (think Peter, Paul & Mary).
The tracks “Empty Shoes” and “Feel Alright” were two of my favorite. “Feel Alright” has such interesting tempo changes, unexpected, that I was almost ready for a pop sound. “Empty Shoes”, a song about a school shooting and a group of student’s reponse to challenge law makers, is extremely moving. Adler is just so loving, so warm in her presentation. She’s honoring the fallen, but also the students giving using their voices.
She honors friends, family and several relationships in her lyrics. In “Just Like That” the twangy electric guitar throws off a moodier, rootsy rock tone. My heart grew full, my eyes shined brighter, I smiled so wide, it hurt my cheeks, she sings. This song, about her children growing up, is cute and very relatable. The final song, “Color My World”, has an Americana vibe to it, with tones that would echo the stylings of 70s songstress Linda Ronstadt , Karen Carpenter or a less edgy Stevie Nicks. Shadow me in and blanket me, sings Adler. I suspect she plucks the guitar strings and doesn’t use a guitar pic – but I could be mistaken. I think she takes some risks in these guitar blends, but overall, it’s a nice, calming arrangement. It fits like a glove with her gem of a voice.
These songs are a calling to music lovers of all ages. It’s just perfect for the younger ears, especially youngsters that are soaking up as many musical styles as they can. I think it’s a great way to introduce the folk movement and give younger listeners a chance to see the evolution of the sound of bands like The Carpenters, The Mamas and The Papas, Joni Mitchell, The Eagles, and Peter, Paul and Mary. Color My World is outstanding.
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