ALLARD, "Rough Lines"
(Reckless Abandon Music)
'Lines': Universal Themes
hardly a coincidence that singer-songwriter Terri Allard's new
album, "Rough Lines,' sounds as if it were made by
a small circle of friends. The album, in fact, was recorded in
a chapel, where Allard and her collaborators formed a close-knit
reflective but never self-indulgent, Allard's songs-and her expressive
voice-often glow in this intimate setting. Some of the lyrics
are inspired by personal relationships-"A Song for David,"
for example, is a touching homage to Allard's disabled brother-but
more often the songs address the universal themes of love and
loss with unusual grace and soul. For proof, check out "Dance
Again,' a poignant country waltz, or 'So Like the Moon,'
the album's bittersweet coda. The most emotionally compelling
tune, though, is "Baby's Baby,' a sorrowful commentary
on our times. "We got babies raising babies,' Allard laments.
the soft-spun arrangements, colored by acoustic and lap steel
guitars, mandolin and harmonica, are distinctive in their own
right. Neatly tailored to fit the prevailing mood, each enhances
the poetry and compassion inherent in Allard's music.