ALBUM REVIEW: Izzi Dunn “Cries & Smiles”

Record Label: Idunnit Music Ltd.
Release Date: 12.09.2010

Izzi Dunn may not be what you call a household name, but her name should ring bells for the ardent music fans amongst you. Not only an acclaimed cellist, Dunn is a singer/songwriter who has worked alongside everyone from Roots Manuva and Gorillaz to Soul II Soul and Mark Ronson. “Cries And Smiles” is her latest solo effort and sees her in a radio friendly pop territory without losing any of her credibility.

Dunn is no Sara Bareilles, her attitude resounds throughout the ups and downs of “Cries and Smiles”. Dunn displays a don’t mess with me attitude which breaks easily as she expresses tender emotion. Opening with the in your face “Tits and Ass”, Dunn sets the bar high but does not fail to disappoint as the album journeys through an array of takes on love and life.

Dunn excels when she indulges in a fusion of genres, using her instrumental knowledge to enhance her rich vocal. Of particular note are the sultry “Kill Me Slow” and tingling “Nothing But Love”. Meanwhile the sensational instrumental of “Killer Bitch” gives violinist Miri Ben-Ari at redefining the strings for the new generation. Yet “Cries & Smiles” killer moment is the jazz-soaked vocal display of “Analogue Girl”, proving Dunn could give everyone from Erykah Badu to Beth Rowley a run for their money.

“Cries & Smiles” is without doubt one of the albums of 2010. Dunn does not conform to any genre, simply writes what she feels and expresses it without any effort. If you were to buy one record this month, make sure that is this one.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams



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