Absence of You
The instrumentation hooks you, the arrangements reel you in and Tina Hartt’s passionate performance catches you. Trust Your Heart is an arresting original composition, with Jonathan D. Lewis’ wistful strings cascading over Hartt’s evocative lyricism; equal parts yearnful and triumphant. The relationship between form and substance shines through in every note Hartt sings. Every once in a while, when the band employs silence or coordinates hits for emphasis, Hartt shapes her phrases in a way where profundity takes center stage. In lines like “I can’t touch but I can dream” from I Can Look but I Can’t Touch, that hesitation adds an exclamation point to the echo effect the music creates, bringing the idea home with great clarity.
Aside from Hartt’s consistent ingenuity as a vocalist and limitless creativity, this album is tied together by how incredible it sounds. Credit is due to Steve Dierkens for the mixing, because it adds a great feeling of intimacy and closeness to the album. There are no effects imposed on any musicians present and yet the sound is recorded with startling detail. Every element of the music feels like the most prominent aspect at any given moment, and it is this kind of clarity that lends to Hartt’s voice perfectly. From the very first track to the end, there is a singular directness of Hartt’s approach to her music, and the effectiveness of said approach cannot be overstated.