Nina Gordon, the former lead singer and guitarist for Veruca Salt, returns after a long absence with her second CD, Bleeding Heart Graffiti, the follow up to her debut album Tonight And The Rest Of My Life. Similar to the songs on her first disc, those on Graffiti display simple hooks and melodies that blend peacefully and lovingly. Nina Gordon writes in the frame of mind of songwriters like acoustic-based female artists Kasey Chambers, Dar Williams and Kat Parsons, all songwriters who convey a longing for something to complete them. She doesn’t write showy pieces vocally or melodically, but her harmonies are comfy and the album puts the listener at ease with its chill vibe.
Gordon’s penmanship for emotional lyrics and poetic imagery is prolific like in the power ballad “Pure”: “I’m lost in time in my head/ Floating through the sky in my bed.” Her lyrical phrases display deep personal attachment administered in a lolling roam. She demonstrates tunesmith capabilities adherent to Kat Parsons-like sensitivity, which are deeply shown in tracks like “Watercolors” and “Christmas Lights.” The images and sentiments expressed in Nina’s songs are vivid and narrative-based, taking a phase from life that causes change or introspection, like in the song “Superstar” whose whispering vocals ring like a prayer. These are songs written in solitude and seek solace.
Gordon communicates to people in her singing through a missive scroll of melodic lines, as if her songs are individually addressed letters. Take for instance, “When You Don’t Want Me Anymore,” about a girlfriend writing to her beau, as she faces the reality that he doesn’t want her anymore. The gorgeous piano motifs on “The Time Comes” illuminate a bluesy soul hue for a backlight on Nina’s tranquil vocal foils. The one track which returns Nina back to her Veruca Salt days of rock-infused movements can be found in “Suffragette,” pulling out brawny punches and tough vocal chews with stamina and stubbornness and showing that some things never leave her.
Nina Gordon overwhelms the listener with rootsy power ballads and implants of bluesy choruses, folk/rock tunes, and acoustic pop arias. She works within a frame of female singer/songwriters who express themselves with soft rock pitches and flaccid rolling notes exuding a tranquil atmosphere. It’s a chill out album that speaks about that which is locked up in the mind and then sets it free.
Kat Parsons – No Will Power
Dar Williams – My Better Self
Juliana Hatfield Three – Become What You Are