September 20, 2008

Leona Naess - Thirteens (2008)

I have literally been waiting years (five to be exact) for Leona Naess to release a new album. I first heard her play as an opener for Badly Drawn Boy in 2003. Immediately, I went home and had Awmercy purchase I Tried To Rock You But You Only Roll (2001) and Leona Naess (2003).

Her albums often unfold like a diary with each song playing candidly through the ups and downs of relationships and life. Thirteens, released this week, is the product of two years and thirteen albums worth of songs recorded while mourning her father's 2004 death. Naess calls her newest work a "mix-tape" of songs that express the emotions one would expect from a life-altering change. The album ranges in mood from the plaintive and sweet "Learning as We Go" and "Not the Same Girl" to a more upbeat "Un-Named" and "Leave Your Boyfriends Behind," which makes you want to grab a buddy and sing along drunkenly to the chorus.

At first listen, I fell in love with Thirteens and it only gets better the second and third (and thirteenth) time around. Her beautifully sad voice perfectly captures the sentiments conveyed through her lyrics. I am so excited that one of my favorite artists has produced another album that exceeds my expectations and was well worth the long wait.