Grains of Sand
The region got its first taste of Anastacia's Grains of Sand this winter when she and her band won the Source's music video contest for the album's title track and now it seems the full release keeps the soulful energy of that cut going for the entirety of its 12 tracks.
The local singer-songwriter (full name: Anastacia Beth Scott) produced the album with Tim Prince at his Aptos, Cali. studio using a hand-picked group of NorCal musicians and the result is a smooth-flowing folk and pop record. For the most part, Grains of Sand proves softer than what you may have heard when she's playing live with her band of locals here in Central Oregon, but nonetheless strong.
At times, Anastacia sometimes hits a modern folk rock thread that's not too far from the latest Jenny Lewis cuts (check out her cover of Old Crow Medicine Show's "We're All in This Together" for proof) but also proves supremely soulful on songs like "Burn the Bridge." Although the musicianship is top-notch throughout the album, it's Anastacia's vocals that truly carry the disc. On "Behind Dry Eyes," her voice soars above the cascading organ chords and bouncing guitars, telling a bittersweet story - one of many that can be found on the album. And the title track is not to be lost in the mix, providing a refreshing mid-record punch.
With Grains of Sand, Anastacia shows herself as a dedicated musician and one who stands out in our region's singer/songwriter arena. With strong production, a concept that weaves itself through the record and, again, an excellent voice, the album is clearly one of the region's best for 2009.