Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins has hit her stride with this latest offering, where she combines the melodic sensibilities of Sarah McLachlan with the more up-tempo feel of Alanis Morissette and creates a sound that is rich in its lyrical content and beautifully stirring. Perhaps it was working with producer Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Crowded House) that pushed Higgins to become a more assertive vocalist—much of her lyrics reflect a young woman hitting the big city to find herself, getting trampled by an overwhelming amount of new experiences and dusting herself off. Higgins' sweet voice does take center stage on this release, but she also benefits from a stellar cast of A-list musicians (drummer Matt Chamberlain; guitarist/backing vocalist Neil Finn, some tracks; guitarist Val McCallum; bassists Davey Faragher and Ian Walker; Cathy LaMothe, horns; Greg Leisz, mandolin). They seem to encircle Higgins (who also provided some instrumentation) in Froom’s home studio, never in-your-face, but providing a smooth backdrop from which Higgins shines.
Producer: Mitchell Froom. Mixer: David Boucher. Studio: Therabeta Studio (Santa Monica, Calif.). Mastering: Bob Ludwig/Gateway (Portland, Maine).