Reviews

Hannah Judson
Album: Underbelly
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.hannahjudson.com

Hannah Judson is an American living in Paris, well to be more precise, Hannah Judson is an American singer/songwriter living in Paris. It's an important distinction because whilst there is a feeling that the French consider themselves culturally and artistic superior to the upstarts from the New World, there has always been scope to embrace artists of all nationalities and to take them to their heart, if not actually give them airplay.

Judson helps her case enormously by writing songs that walk on a number of different levels and also which capture that idea of an artist genuinely looking to try and understand the world that the people of her adopted country inhabit and how it differs from her own.

"Underbelly" has been out for a year or so in both the US and France, but is really only just starting to break into the consciousness over here, which is a good thing, because it's a strong album in its own right before you even start adding the cross cultural dynamic.

At its heart, "Underbelly" is an album that runs the gamut between country and Americana, but as the name implies, it's also an album that takes a glance at the life going on around the writer, at both a social level and a political level to create the impression of an artist with a genuine thirst for knowledge and experience.

The album is sung in English, but there's some phrases that come across in the recording that let you know without any doubt, that Hannah Judson is the sort of artists that would do her best to go native so as to really express the best, and worst, a culture can throw at you..

The result is a very cosmopolitan album, one that does a really good balancing act to ensure that it stays fresh along it's eleven track length. Judson herself appear to get a real sense of the world around her and turn the experiences into thought provoking, well thought out songs and whilst "Underbelly" my not be a full expose of life and love, it does sometimes venture into a world of discovery and thinking.

Neil King