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Ren Daversa

Saltwater

Review by Gary Hill

This new disc finds Ren Daversa demonstrating her talents as both a singer and songwriter. The music lands in the general zone of soft pop rock, but there is some range here. There are some tunes that really shine, and nothing falls particularly short. If there is one complaint it's that it gets a bit samey at times. It's all entertaining, though, so that only matters so much.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Oceans of You
The opening track has verses that are a bit more stripped back, while the choruses soar. While this is pop rock music in a lot of ways, it has a lot of folk in the structure. It's not far removed from things like The Mamas and the Papas. The electric guitar solo is tasteful and tasty. This is a potent and catchy tune that works quite well to start things in style.
Heart to Heart
While this has a lot of the same musical concepts of landing in the soft rocking zone, it's more electrified and rocking than the opener was. There are some tiny hints of country music on this piece. The guitar solo is almost jazzy. It's another solid offering.
Cut and Dried
As good as the two openers were, this really raises the stakes. It has a great electric folk rock vibe to it. Songwriting style it makes me think of Joan Baez in a lot of ways. I like Daversa's vocals a lot more than I do Baez', though.
Just One Word
Not a big change, this is just another solid tune. It's has some good energy and solid hooks.
Closer
This is the hardest rocking tune here. It is packed full of energy and roots sound. This feels like a throw-back to the 1970s.
Firelight
Another rocker, this isn't quite as hard-edged and energized as the song that preceded it. It has some intriguing hooks and changes. It's one of my favorites here.
The Upside Down
Not a big change from the earliest cuts on the disc, this is another solid piece, but not a standout.
Funny

Here we get another that's sort of in the same neighborhood as the rest. It's a good tune by itself, but fails to really stand that tall in the context of the album.

Type A
This bouncy number is a fun cut. It's also one of the highlights, in part because of the variety it brings. That variety and quality make this a great choice for album closer.
 
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