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Anna Laube - Outta My Head

Released on Ginkgo Records

Is there any ground more well trodden by artists than the vastness that is love? In a time when itís frighteningly common to be cynical, jaded, and bitter about love, Anna Laube manages to inject new life into the oft maligned emotion in Outta My Head. Laube offers no easy answers in the album, but never fails to seduce with a plethora of beautifully written, authentic tracks and talent that is unquestionable.

Laubeís gifts become apparent right away with the syrupy ballad dedicated to one "Beautiful Boy". This boyís got it all -- the heart of a child, the voice of an angel, and a remarkable ability to bring smiles to his admirer. Chemical dependencies like this donít come along very often. "Beautiful Boy" is lyrically infectious and well complimented by Laubeís blues and folk influences.

The leisurely musings on the trials and travails of love continue with "If You Build It". Love can be a bitch, but is there anything more painful than love of the unrequited kind? Unlike in Field of Dreams, no oneís dropping by for a visit in "If You Build It". This whiskey drenched, bluesy track lacks the optimism of "Beautiful Boy", but no one claimed love was all roses. Best enjoyed on an overcast day with a thorn in your heart, "If You Build It", reminds us of the less ecstatic side of love.

In a distinctly dissimilar tone is "Angelina", an ode to an enigmatic, charming young woman who just might be from a distant star. Far from bemoaning a woman who is just out of armís reach or otherwise indisposed, Laube celebrates Angelina whose charms are quite accessible. Itís always nice when love finally smiles on you. Laubeís upbeat lyrics are complimented by a lighthearted, whimsical melody that canít help but elicit a grin.

The remainder of Anna Laubeís Outta My Head is comprised of tracks that examine the perplexing, myriad complexities of love. Annaís country, folk, and blues influences compliment the subject matter perfectly alternating between somber and blue and ecstatic and light. Laubeís vocals are broad and resonant, enabling her to reflect on love with appropriate gravity and whimsy. Part Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and a good part uniquely Anna, Laubeís got the pipes for this kind of material.

If love isnít your thing, Outta My Head probably wonít work for you. Likewise, if blues, country, or folk doesnít resonate for you, Anna Laubeís debut will likely leave you cold. However, if love is something thatís ever troubled or excited you, this album has your bases coveredÖin spades. Likewise, if you can appreciate a beautiful voice complimented by a competent sound that is infused with quality folk and blues, you canít do much better than Anna Laubeís Outta My Head.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars