CD Christina Courtin (CD 4659922),
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Christina Courtin

  • 1. Green Jay
    2. Bundah
    3. Foreign Country
    4. Hedonistic Paradise
    5. Mulberries
    6. February
    7. Laconia
    8. One Man Down
    9. Rainy
    10. Unzipped
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 254652

  • Credits
    ProducerChristina Courtin; Ryan Scott; Greg Cohen; Christina Courtin; Greg Cohen; Ryan Scott
    EngineerDavid Boucher; Ryan Scott; Christopher Hoffman

    Personnel: Christina Courtin (vocals, viola, piano, toy piano); Jon Brion (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, chamberlin, bass instrument); Greg Leisz (guitar, electric guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin); Ryan Scott (guitar); Ryan Scott (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, strings, background vocals); Marc Ribot (electric guitar); Johnny Gandelsman, Gabe Witcher, Colin Jacobsen (violin); Nicholas Cords (viola); Benmont Tench (piano, celesta, organ); Greg Cohen (bass instrument, bells); Jim Keltner (drums, drum).
    Audio Mixer: David Boucher.
    Photographers: Autumn de Wilde; Tim Ives.
    After serving as an occasional sideman for the likes of Ryan Adams, Yo-Yo Ma, and composer Osvaldo Golijov, Christina Courtin makes her solo debut with a batch of soft, jazz-influenced pop songs. The album's simple cover art -- a blue background, an abridged head shot, a brief of line of text -- sets the stage for the music within, which focuses on Courtin's voice with few outside distractions. This is teahouse material, too elegant for the coffee joint and too subdued to occupy the same space inhabited by Feist, Regina Spektor, and Ingrid Michaelson. Courtin boasts a perfectly acceptable alto, and her quirky delivery helps steer some of the album's more fanciful phrases ("My currency's so spent, you could buy my candy for a cent") away from cloying territory. One can't help but wish for a brief glimpse of her violin skills -- the same skills that earned Courtin a spot at the Juilliard School -- but this self-titled debut is a vehicle for her developing voice, not a showcase for her veteran instrumental prowess. "February" manages to find the best of both worlds, though, combining Christina Courtin's best vocal performance with enough orchestral swells to appease her Juilliard classmates. ~ Andrew Leahey

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