Little Girls and their Lullabies
In her debut album A Good Day, Priscilla Ahn blends genres, rocks the harmonica, and takes us to another world.
Published: Friday, September 05, 2008
The debut album of Pennsylvania native, singer-songwriter Priscilla Ahn blends folk, jazz and pop. Don't worry, it's not as bad as that sounds. Think Norah Jones but with a bright, clear voice, rather than a soft, sultry one.
Ahn's A Good Day is not a retread of Jones's Come Away with Me though. Some songs certainly evoke the feel of Jones, but the range of songs shows Ahn's wider tastes. While most of her songs blend folk and jazz, she has one with a more rock sound, another using an oom-pa-pa beat, and another stripped down to just a ukulele accompaniment.
Ahn has a sweet and beautiful voice that shines when instrumentals are kept to a minimum, such as on ukulele song "Find My Way Back Home." And yet songs like "Lullaby" and title song "A Good Day (Morning Song)" still stand out with their lush backgrounds. Her voice has a wide range that can convey light playfulness, introspection and haunting longing on different songs. Video clips on YouTube show that Ahn sounds just as polished live as in her studio recordings, like her singer-songwriter contemporaries Ingrid Michealson or Marie Digby.
Ahn's lyrics are also one of the draws for her fans, most exemplified by Track 1, "Dream," which was played on Grey's Anatomy's finale last season. Evoking wanderlust like Kelly Clarkson did in "Breakaway," Ahn croons:
I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me
I played pretend between the trees and fed my houseguests bark and leaves and laughed in my pretty bed of green
I had a dream
I could fly from the highest swing
I had a dream
The only song I questioned was "Astronaut." Hearing the oom-pa-pa, circus-like background music, it always called to mind the scene in the movie Across the Universe when the main characters find their old roommate Prudence at Eddie Izzard's circus. At times I find it playful, and other times, annoyingly incongruous with the rest of the album.
But don't hate on harmonicas. Ahn plays the instrument and incorporates it into a few songs, charmingly so.
To check out Priscilla Ahn's website, click here.