The Washington Post

CD Review: Frazey Ford's Obadiah
Sun, 2011-07-17

CD review: Frazey Ford's 'Obadiah'
Friday, July 30, 2010
FRAZEY FORD
"Obadiah"
Kindred spirits: Joni Mitchell, the Be Good Tanyas, Corinne Bailey Rae Frazey Ford's warm voice is instantly recognizable to any fan of her former group, the Be Good Tanyas. But unlike that trio and its folksy air, Ford's solo work has more of a smoky, soulful mood. On her first solo album, "Obadiah," she especially channels the
laid-back, lilting tone of Corinne Bailey Rae; the sultry "Lay Down With You" is at once reminiscent of the British R&B star.
Like Bailey Rae, Ford takes her time. These songs have an unhurried tempo that brings a focus to her voice. And even though her imprecise enunciation sometimes makes words indistinguishable, her tone is always clear. "Half In" has a lonely feel, and the uptempo "Bird of Paradise" carries an air of sorrow beneath its sunny surface. Ultimately, these songs are all about mood. With its deliberate pace, "Lost Together" conveys the melancholy of looking back at a relationship, while Ford's detached vocals on "If You Gonna Go" capture the numbness of a breakup. She adds distinguishing accents -- a string section here, handclaps or a horn blast there -- but the mellow, soulful vibe of "Obadiah" tends to blur the line between songs.
-- Catherine P. Lewis