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Inge "Heaven Knows"

Thanks to Rick for writing this really dedicated review of Inge's second album "Heaven Knows". Published on June 19 2013.

  by Rick

Do not let the demure, reserved cover art fool you. This album is a coiled spring, full of surprising power and ready to jump out at the unsuspecting. The music within, like the photo on the cover, is subtle and refined instead of brazen. Take a closer look at the gleam in the eyes, the crooked half smile, and you have a better idea of what's in store. This woman is able and willing to take you places, sometimes places you don't want to go.

"Heaven Knows" is Inge's second full length album, after the excellent "I See You", released in 2010. It is a delight to mark her growth as a songwriter, performer and as a manager and promoter. Business skills are increasingly important for musicians, particularly independents, and Inge does it all and does it right. I sense a greater self-confidence and individuality in her songwriting and her singing, less tendency to try to sound like someone else. Inge has her own style and she relishes demonstrating it.

She has a new band, a very good one too. The material here covers a range of styles and moods and they more than keep up. Inge wisely gives the players chances to step out front and they take good advantage of the opportunity. But there is never any doubt it is her band.

The lyrics are superb. In fact, they could easily stand on their own as poetry. Happily they don't have to. The music is skillfully written, arranged and performed. Inge has been blessed with a voice that is an instrument of rare quality. She avoids the vocal tricks and pyrotechnics that are so common in popular music these days. Instead she gives us the pure tone, expression and emotional connection that are the mark of a true artist.

As for the particiulars, "Heaven knows" is the rocker of the album, as cool as it is unexpected, at least by me. I hope to see more like this in the future. And did I mention vampires?

"Driving blind" is the story of the end of a relationship, told by the one ending it.

"King" is the pin prick for an over-inflated male ego. The take away is do not mess with Inge, she knows how to slice and dice.

"Diamond" is nothing less than what every man wants to hear from his woman.

"Rewind" is ... well, not quite erotica, but Katy Perry should be this smart when she wakes from her teenage dream.

"Good day" would be right at home in a Muppet movie. That's a good thing.

"Seasons with you" is a pretty song about an ugly situation. I sincerely hope this is not based on a true story, though I suspect it is for someone.

"Greater happiness" is, to my mind and heart, the absolute gem of this album. It took me straight to a certain night ten years ago which I have been avoiding. I resented this at first, but have since come to terms with it. Maybe some day I can come to terms with that night.

"So this is goodbye" is another song about the end of a relationship, this time from the perspective of the one being left behind.

"Lost it" - I haven't had so much fun contemplating my tenuous hold on reality since Joni Mitchell was Twisted.

"Gold" is a beautiful and realistic look at an adult relationship, equal parts flawed and rewarding.

"Heaven Knows" is a remarkably successful second album, which is often a difficult milestone in a musician's career. It is a welcome addition to my collection and I recommend it for yours. Let's hope we don't have to wait another three years to hear what delights are waiting behind that crooked smile.