When singer-songwriters are as common as coffeehouses, and when radio abandons the girls with guitars that filled it's airwaves the past couple of years, seekers of pop trends tend to forget that a great voice can transcend any sense of the word trendy. If there's room for one more strong, intelligent voice in the world of music, Dallas' Lauren Fine isn't shy about snatching it up as boldly as she does listeners' attention. A pianist since the age of five and a songwriter by ten, Fine only truly began to unleash her musical talents in Spring 2003 with For The Breaking, a five song EP that propelled her into the finals of the Kerrville Folk Festival and Wildflower Festival songwriting contests. But if Breaking only hinted at her potential, then Fine's debut full-length, Paper Airports, is the fulfillment of that musical promise. Recorded and produced by the Pipes Bros. (Deep Blue Something, Halou, Hi-Fi Drowning, and Flickerstick), Airports bolsters Fine's already-rich songs with mellotron, pedal steel and vibraphones. Still, the lush 11-song session benefits from enough restraint to grant Fine's voice the lead it deserves, which booms, rises and falls like a nighttime rainstorm. From the sleepy 'Midnight Girls' and the monstrous 'Fighting Chance' to the hop-along 'Prisoner's Chain,' Fine and her band dress the sorrow of young love in gorgeous ball gowns of music that will attract fans of jazz, soul and indie rock all the same.
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