ACL Music Festival Reviews

ACL Music Festival Reviews

Missy Higgins

The Sound of White (Reprise)

It's surprising major labels haven't jumped on the Norah Jones bandwagon and produced more clones after her unanticipated success. Missy Higgins is one of the first, and if her brand of piano-based heart songs catches on, expect a deluge. There's a problem, however. The young Australian's debut, The Sound of White, suffers from overly self-conscious lyrics and a mood that only occasionally reaches above a dirge. There's very little new about a young woman singing about her emotions. Higgins plainly expresses her wants and sensitivity but rarely gives any new insight into her condition that would force the listener to care. Over the course of 13 songs, the combination of her young-minded poetry and bare-bones piano and cello backdrops just increases the tedium. A couple of cuts stand out thanks to their relatively distinct instrumentation; "Scar" is a bit of guitar-driven pop fluff, and the sultry horns and jazzy beats of "Casualty" are relatively refreshing. Higgins obviously hopes to follow a path left by such potent songwriters as Carole King and Tori Amos, but until her abilities mature, such comparisons will find her wanting. (Saturday, 2:50pm, Austin Ventures stage)

**

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