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Monday, 16 July 2012

Record Review – Penny Nichols

Colors Of The Sun: Penny Nichols Sings The Early Songs Of Jackson Browne

I've always been quite partial to Nichols' 1968 debut, Penny's Arcade. An album housed in a sleeve with a photo that portrays the freckly faced Pippi Longstocking-like teenager on the cusp of hippiedom. And her gentle folk songs display a sweet, strong voice. Nearly 45 years on this set sees the singer older of face, but still possessing the same voice. Reinterpreting the sunny, California set songs of Browne is ideal for her. Granted, he's not for everyone and it is 'These Days' which works best on this set, not due to Nichols' performance, but the strength of the song. Browne at his worst can pull at the heart strings just a tad too much. Saying that, it's nice to have seen him singing 'These Days' with hip, young gun slinger Jonathan Wilson, and a renewed credibility breathed into his style. Browne shows up here too, offering a few duets. (Nichols and Browne hint out back in ’66; the time when folk singers were becoming hippies.)

They may be far older, but they sound the same. Fans of LA singer-songwriters are recommend to consider these passionate interpretations.

Jon 'Mojo' Mills

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