Maggie Walters (n / a)
Reviewed by Matt Dentler, Fri., April 15, 2005
It appears Sheryl Crow isn't just going to ride off with Austin's most famous cyclist, she's going to bury her nails into our musicians, too. With time to sink in, though, Walters' finely honed debut reveals itself a Crow of a different color. Picking up where Patty Griffin and Sarah Sharp leave off, the 24-year-old transplanted Midwesterner finesses subtle folk-pop between hushed twang ("Be Careful Love") and driving rhythms ("Ann Marie Explained It All"). The songs are about fickle relationships, but this well-worn territory plays fresh thanks to Walters' way with words. Familiar kiss-offs like "Fingerprints" get a boost from careful prose like "Now I wait for the rain to come wash the fingerprints that you left on my face, in my heart, in my veins." Floating on her voice, the words sing like Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn, breathless yet bold. Even bluesy throwaways like "The Other Spin" can't diminish the album's charisma. Charm like this won't last, however, without some more pain.