Sometimes it's more the "songwriter" than the "singer" in "singer-songwriter" that really transforms a gal with a six-string into a triumph. Athens, Georgia's Madeline sings with the perfectly imperfect, heartbreakingly restrained power of Jolie Holland, but it's the songs around which her voice is wrapped that pull the listener into a world of romantic stupor. In less skilled hands, songs like "To Hell and Back" and "I Left the Light On" could slip into Ani-esque angst; instead, they are nothing less than a new type of whispered Southern gospel.


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