Almost a year after her solo debut and a month before the release of a new side project, Sony Connect released an acoustic session featuring cuts from Leigh Nash's Blue On Blue. On Leigh's CONNECT Sets, the vocalist takes a personal look at her songs that focus largely on love, loss, and parenthood, presenting them in a minimalistic format from their polished pop originals.
The quality from one CONNECT Sets from Sony to another is somewhat inconsistent with the way each is presented. For example, while most of the bands who perform their live sessions tend to have a crisply produced live band feel, some of the solo performances tend to be a little rougher around the edges, even sounding more like it was recorded for radio and not in a professional studio. Still, there's a charm and intimacy to hearing songs in this organic presentation that you cannot get from a big production.
While Nash steps in to introduce each of the five tracks on her CONNECT Sets EP, they serve to be mostly trivial instead of enlightening, as she ends up adding very little (if anything) to the songs. For example, with the songs "Between The Lines," "Blue," and "Along The Wall," Leigh merely announces who wrote the song or that she really likes it, but nothing more about the song's background or why she wrote it or chose to sing it. To contrast, in previous CONNECT Sets from artists like Joy Williams, Anberlin, or BarlowGirl, the song introductions were oftentimes lengthy but detailed, explaining the story behind it. The only real exception is "Just A Little," which Leigh explains is about the first time she had to leave her son, and "Nervous In The Light Of Dawn," which she says reminds her of soldiers, despite being unaware of the author's true intent for the song. When all is said and done, Nash hasn't really expanded much on what fans would most likely already know about each of these songs.
Musically, the acoustic format gives each song a more personal feel than when first appearing on Blue On Blue, however, now the songs rely entirely on lyrical poignancy and Nash's vocal strengths. Some prove to retain more weight than others, while it's more obvious some of these aren't Nash's strongest pennings (and co-pennings), especially after hearing some of her more recent work on Fauxliage. Her vocals here reveal their frailties from track to track without the production polish, but Nash's soft and sweet voice doesn't lose the innocent charm that she is known for. The song selection brings a melancholy collection of acoustic musings on relationships that isn't particularly uplifting (especially when knowing more about Leigh's personal life as of late), but fans will undoubtedly enjoy this up close and personal acoustic session. It may not be the best representation of Leigh Nash, but it's a novelty nonetheless.- Review date: 1/9/08, written by John DiBiase of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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