Alana Amram & The Rough Gems – S/T

Alana Amram & The Rough Gems – S/T / 2007 Zealous / 5 Tracks / / /

“Blackest Crow” is the first track on this EP, and it showcases Amram’s work as something that can fit in well with the work of Alison Krauss or even the re-imagined folk genre of the current period (which has adherents including Akron/Family and Devendra Banhart). There seems to be a slight bit more rock influence during “Blackest Crow”, but individuals could easily hear this style of music in 1967 as they can in 2007 (or 2008, for that matter). The meandering style present during “Painted Lady” continues with the same general style of “Blackest Crow”, ensuring that Amram does not lose anything in the way of listeners. The emotion present in the vocals is interesting, because it is presented to listeners by a fairly deadpan style of delivery.

The slight differences in intonation are what provides this difference, and why tracks like “Painted Lady” are so special. Instead of going to the limits, the slight modifications made to the general sound of the EP yield tremendous differences. “Miss You While You’re Away” is the shortest track on the disc, and it marks a different type of style for Amram. Where the previous tracks went more towards the folk genre, “While You’re Away” is a track that is firmly rooted in the country and western genre. The vocals are what link this track to the previous two efforts, and create a fuller sound for Amram that was present during the ending of “Painted Lady”. “Take A Drink” keeps with the C&W sound, but throws a little bit more of a curveball into the track – this ploy ensures that Amram will have a large fanbase by the time that eir LP comes out. If you miss the style of a Ronstadt or a Parton, give Amram’s EP a few good listeners – I think you’ll like it.

Top Track: Take A Drink
Rating: 6.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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