Halifax, NS may one day be known not for the Maritime beauty that it is: a small cultural paradise steeped in artistic tradition, but for the quality of musical acts it has produced over the past decade. Artists such as Amanda Marshall, Sarah McLachlan and Sloan only begin a list which reads as a who’s-who of the Canadian music scene. A lesser-known, but equally powerful force has also emerged, albeit quieter, from the famous shadows that surround her. The her, none other than the jazz vocalist Holly Cole, has already established a presence in the pop-jazz tradition, and has know woken the genre up with her latest album, Romantically Helpless.
A pumped-up collaborative effort, Cole’s partnership with Grammy-award winning producer Steve Ferrera hits all the right notes. Jazz fans will recognize many first-rate writers on songs such as “Ghosts” (Randy Newman),
“One Trick Pony” (Paul Simon) and “If I Start To Cry” (Laura Harding). Cole’s own band mates pitch in with the album gem “Make It Go Away” (Aaron Davis) and the seductive “I’ll Be Here” (David Piltch).
The talent that surrounds Cole fails to drown her as she floats through each song touched by emotions that are as singularly private as they are meticulously shared. Such is the wonder of Holly Cole, and the root of her considerate success. Romantically Helpless cuts through the listener’s guarded instincts, uniquely reaching something entirely worth experiencing. A must have…