Robin Stone 

My Heart (She Loves You)

A native of Solon, singer-songwriter Robin Stone learned to play cello at age 10. Since then, she's taught herself to play guitar, bass, and drums, and plays all of those instruments on this, her full-length debut. Part of the locally based Modern Acoustic Music Collective, which includes singer-songwriters Alexis Antes and Doug Wood, Stone plays the kind of neo-folk/light jazz that has made Ani DiFranco a grassroots sensation. Like DiFranco, Stone has tried to build her fan base from the ground up -- she regularly performs at both folk and rock venues in town, and participates in local singer-songwriter sessions. Stone's been playing for several years, and this album, which she produced, is of professional quality.

But for someone who comes from what she describes as "a broken home" with "no parental guidance," as it says in the press release that accompanies this disc, Stone doesn't sound particularly distraught. A track such as "City of Wrong," for example, vacillates between perky sax solos and moody vocals, neither of which really captures the song's theme of loneliness and inability to fit in. In the title track, Stone -- who possesses a beautiful voice -- oohs and ahhs her way through a song that comes off as a cloying prayer. She comes across as all warm and fuzzy in songs such as "Light My Way," "A Lullaby," and "Scattered." While writing about trying to make the most of difficult situations isn't necessarily a bad idea, in Stone's hands, this material simply sounds one-dimensionally sweet and sensitive.


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