I know that my "tough guy" reputation is going to endure significant damage because of this post; nonetheless, I will press onward.

It is a bit of a secret that I write CD reviews for my wife's website, maryandstella.com.  Every Tuesday, I find a new album, listen to it a billion times, and then write something fairly contrived–but with big words–that sounds like an exhaustively knowleable review.  

Anyway, last week, I reviewed Sara Bareilles' new (and first) album, "Little Voice."  Approaching this CD, I was a bit skeptical. It is not secret that I do not particularly care for female artists.  There are notable exceptions, of course (like Jewell, Sheryl Crow, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.), but on the whole I prefer the music my own gender makes.  So it was with significant trepidation that I logged onto Napster to listen.

To completely destroy any potential suspense, I was absolutely blown away.  From beginning to end, Little Voices is quite superb.  While I was expecting the same warmed over Kelly Clarkson/Mandy Moore fare, Bareilles' album is incredibly interesting from a musical perspective.  On some tracks, like my favorite 'Gravity,' Bareilles is vulnerable, sensitive and deliciously melodic.  On others, like 'Morningside,' the pace is entirely More >