England - Full Moon 99 - 10/28/04
Xanda Howe's an interesting singer who might get a shot at the big time if she's in luck. Some
of her material is reminiscent of Dido and other songs are more singer-songwriterly stuff. The song
"And How" is lightly fluffy radio pop in the aforementioned Dido's vein. It's well-produced and
not cliched tough.
The disco of "Driving Me Mad" should get her a big hit if there's any justice. Its throbbing
beat and sassy lead vocal are too good to ignore. "My Beautiful Friend" is a faintly exotic sounding
track that should get most dancefloors jumping.
A laid-back setting is created for "How Do I Love Thee", an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem set
to music. Howe sings it sweetly and reverently and Jimmy Kent adds a nice rap. Oddly, it works.
"Midnight Poet" is an impressively cinematic song. A bare live version of Tom Waits' "Time" rounds
things off nicely. Howe's girlish tones work well with Waits song.
And How is a stellar debut.
Copyright © 2004 Anna Maria Stjärnell