Songs 91 to 85
This CD was created mostly while Amy was a college and grad student, as a 'pop' reaction to the her classical training. It's influenced by many of the sounds and artists of the '80s New Wave but has a charmingly lo-tech quality -- the result of cheap equipment and quick all-nighters in the studio when no one was looking. Regardless, you can hear a lot of the multi-layered vocals, quirky lyrics and heartfelt melodies that have become part of Amy's signature sound. A great review in Keyboard Magazine helped this CD launch Amy's career: 'Neuburg's talents as songwriter, singer, arranger, studio technician, and keyboardist distinguish this remarkable release. From 'This is the last,' an intricate a capella exercise in polyrhythms and accessible pop tunesmithery, Neuburg stretches to a sequence-driven recitatif, 'Nothing,' with staccato vocals skipping over a spiky synth pattern. No slouch on keys, she plays some lines on 'Get you out' with a most peculiar lead texture -- analog synth with snarling animal sample? (Cut in 1985, this track forecasts the techno phenomenon with a frenzied clairvoyance.) A hypnotic quality permeates her arrangements -- not the stupor of new age but the more dynamic stasis of minimalist repetitions powered, as on 'Keep us 2,' by displaced accents and emphasized by sharp, low-budget, buzzy textures. Even on the sparer pieces, such as 'It never ends,' a restlessness underlies her languorous vocals and lazy, legato synth lines. If the world was fair, Songs would win this Bay Area performance artist acclaim as America's answer to Kate Bush. No, even that isn't fair: Neuburg is a major player in her own right, a unique voice in the true sense of the word.' [Robert L. Doerschuk]
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