By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Arlington's Jessie Frye is a determined young singer-songwriter who (thankfully) doesn't let her classical training get in the way of her pop smarts. The Delve EP is Frye's debut recording, and its six songs bounce gracefully from cabaret-influenced rock to folk to something resembling alt-country. The only common denominator here, actually, is Frye's dogged precision. Every track is perfectly played, each note perfectly sung as if Frye were auditioning for a spot on American Idol.
But while Frye certainly has the physical attributes necessary to appeal to the superficial nature of a reality show, she also possesses a keen understanding of the dynamics of quality songwriting. On "Birthmark (Chicago)," the EP's best cut, Frye's top-notch band lays down a mellow groove for her to detail with her impressive vocal chops, an obscure memory that oozes with equal amounts remorse and bliss.
It's a stirring moment from an effort that balances professionalism with passion, slick production and performances that cannot mask the inherent emotion of a half-dozen songs perfectly suited for the National Public Radio set. If Frye ever chooses to venture further from the safety net of her undeniable talent, she might prove to be dangerous in alarming ways.
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