Pieta Brown’s One and All (Red House)
This sixth Pieta Brown album may be her last to garner reviews that make much of the fact that her father is folk icon Greg Brown. Based on the evidence here, Pieta could attract a following even if her most famous relative were the janitor in my daughter’s elementary school. One and All, Pieta’s first full-length album for Red House, is a less stripped-down affair than the Don Was-produced EP that preceded it, but that’s not to say it’s overly slick or commercial. On the contrary, while Brown (who coproduced with Bo Ramsey) uses more instrumentation this time around, this is an intimate, low-key affair that rightly keeps the focus on her angelic, moody vocals and introspective, poetic lyrics. If you need reference points, think Norah Jones, Sade and the Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmons. But reference points go only so far when you’re talking about a true original. You’ve just got to hear this album.