Needle Drop: Rebecca Turner, The New
Wrong Way

It’s been a long stretch since her last one (Slowpokes in 2009), but on her third LP The New Wrong Way, Maplewood, NJ’s Rebecca Turner thrives in singer-songwriter mode with a tendency toward country-rock, or better said, country-pop.

But don’t get the idea that her songs would receive play on contempo radio (even if she is a professed fan of Miranda Lambert). Instead, her poppy quality can resonate like something that might’ve been recorded at Water Music back in the ’80s; that is, Hoboken pop.

Perhaps “Water Shoes” (her song partly about moving to NJ from NY) planted the seed for this comparison, but it was her tune “The Cat That Can Be Alone,” the record’s second, that really brought the similarity to the surface of my consciousness.

Recorded in her home studio and finished at Ardent in Memphis, The New Wrong Way offers a little grit right off the bat in “Living Rock,” the track establishing a pattern of strong guitar playing throughout the LP, with the high point possibly “Cassandra” (which was inspired by a Lambert show she caught back in 2010).

The guitar and the appeal of Turner’s voice, pretty but powerful, bring cohesiveness to the LP, but its punch gets spiked with a rerouting into the jazz vocal zone, her spare version of “Tenderly” inspired by Anita O’Day, while deeper in the set she tackles the cool early Bee Gees B-side “Sun in My Morning.”

However, it takes only a spin or two to grasp how Turner extends from a fine tradition that can be tagged as post-Emmylou Harris, and with accents of Lucinda Williams which can place her in the neighborhood of Americana. Overall, The New Wrong Way is highly recommended for anyone who digs sturdy songs well-sung and played, and with a country twist.

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