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Lizanne KnottLizanne Knott
Album: Excellent Day
Label: Proper
Tracks: 12

This is the fourth album from award winning US singer/songwriter Lizanne Knott. It has been released to coincide with a series of tour dates in Scotland. I have to admit here that I have not heard of her before which is undoubtedly my loss.

Lizanne's music is best described as folk/blues and the majority of the tracks on this "Excellent" album are self-penned. One song that she did not write "Sometimes" was given to her for exclusive use by Janis Ian. More about this track later in the review.

Her voice oozes clarity, innocence, soul and just a touch of sensuality. Even quite haunting at times, her vocals are at all times totally listenable. The title track which closes the album even contains a bit of a threat "Don't mess with my excellent day." As if anyone would want to!

Perhaps there is a bit of a violent streak in Lizanne as the opening track invites the listener to "Come For The Kill." There is a fabulous version of "It Ain't Necessarily So" which suits the sultry side of her voice perfectly. The arrangement is outstanding with a fabulous if too short trumpet solo. As with all the tracks on the album, the backing is very well balanced, never competing with the singer for front of stage adulation. The producer has done a remarkable job here.

This is not an album to get a party swinging along. It is however perfect for a late night relaxing listen, although if you relax too much you will most probably miss some of the stories of love, joy, heartache and breaking up. Listen in particular to the simplicity of "Sometimes" with the wonderful acoustic guitar backing from Glenn Barratt. Probably my favourite track!

Even the cover of the CD is worth a mention here. Colourful, beautifully produced and pictures which help to fire up the imagination just like the album. All in all a delightful package!

Rory Stanbridge