Anna Coogan’s latest release, ‘The Lonely Cry of Space and Time,’ is, if nothing else, a collection of songs dripping with unbridled artistry. Practically shouldering the whole mass herself, her voice, instrumentals, and lyrics drip with a passion that is almost palpable. The intimacy of her musical gift forges a bridge between the listener and musician because it is a raw exposure of talents that is impossible not to feel.
Vocally, her contemporaries could be the likes of Enya, Paula Cole, Bjork, or Zooey Deschanel. And like those wonderfully wired women, her skills pour out of every note and word she plays. The steady drums and strumming guitars (with an occasional cello, organ, and synthesizer thrown in the mix) are definitely awesome pieces of the puzzle, moving at a slow and comfortable pace and often building up to a satisfying, toe-curling sound-gasm.
With the intermittent contributions of masters Willie B., JD Foster, Brooks Miner, and Matthew Saccuccimorano, Coogan’s movements are perfectly buttressed by equally shining talent. With the glacial burns and added synthetics, the instrumentals of many of these songs have undeniably spooky, almost Halloween-ish accents. Some of them could be played in the background of a Quentin Tarantino film (a la Urge Overkill) and others are just soothing enough to provide ephemeral support to a ‘Pure Moods’ disc; the track “Wedding Vow” pulses with the sensation of a slow-moving scene of tragedy.
These background players have some big shoes to fill because it is Coogan’s voice that is clearly in the driver’s seat of this vehicle. Her range plays between thick, creamy milk and rich, brown tea; it is a strong-tasting liquid that satiates our aural taste buds. She is perfectly able to capture the mood of every song, moving from awe to pissed off to haunting and ethereal.
The passion within her unhindered voice—in a different time—would have put her in the same circles as Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, and Joan Baez. As well as she plays with her team, she could just as easily pilot the ship on her own. Everyone on this disc has talent, but Coogan is the fulcrum around which it all spins. If you appreciate a strong, female vocalist outside the Top 40, ‘The Lonely Cry of Space and Time’ is an album that you can listen to in any available space and any time you’d like.