Sharp has been missing in action
since releasing a fine debut album
Hardly Glamour back in
1997. The record got deserved
attention at triple-A radio, but the
1999 follow-up Tinderbox
was lost in the shuffle when her
former record label Ark-21 was
swallowed up by Polygram soon before
its release date.
She has finally
resurfaced on Concord, a label
better known for Jazz artists. Three
songs have been rescued from the
Tinderbox project, the rest
have been written by the artist
while gigging and recording since.
It should be no surprise that Sharp
is a wicked songwriter, she's the
daughter of long-time Music Row hit
tunesmith Randy Sharp (who co-wrote
the evocative album opener "Crimes
of the Witness.") But the real
surprise here is how much she has
grown as a performer and producer
since her already impressive debut.
Musically and vocally Maia Sharp
has the folk-rock confessional
strength of Interiors-era
Rosanne Cash or Shawn Colvin circa
Fat City. She is fearless
in following her muse, no matter
where it leads her.
"Happiness" is a terrific song that
is blasted into the heavens by an
adventurous neo-ragtime banjo
interlude that gives the song the
feel of a classic song you've known
all your life. Other lovelies are
the melancholy ballad "Understudies"
and the modern rock vibe of "Crooked
Sharp has apparently just
finished a collaborative album with
Art Garfunkel. Thank goodness we
won't have to wait five years to
hear from her again.
Jay S. Jacobs
2002 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: November 6. 2002.