Somewhere In Blue is the debut solo LP from The Cucumbers' singer, Deena Shoshkes, who is the proud owner of a voice that somehow manages to pitch itself somewhere between an almost twee girliness and heartache. And when the material is right, it's fair to say that this voice can be used to wonderful effect.
A case in point is the lazy loungey title track that, topped off with Deena's delicious voice, opens the album so nicely, as is I Wish I Could Be Enough with its country-ish, heartfelt melody and intonation. I don't listen to too much music that features banjos as part of the backdrop or that has harmonicas providing the solo, but this is lovely as is The Moon's Got It Made from its pedal steel intro all the way to its strong, harmonised chorus.
I'm less keen on some of the more up-tempo numbers like Rambling Dave and the Stones-y Gemini Guy, but the funky What The Love (Are You Gonna Do?) shares the sense of fun that reared its head on the Rockdownbaby side-project stuff that Deena released a couple of years back. Science Fiction is another that would have sounded at home on the Rockdownbaby release, and has a bit of an American Girl feel and a neat solo that comes on like a more restrained Robert Quine of Richard Hell & the Voidoids fame. I generally like Deena's voice best on the slower numbers, but she sounds right at home on this one. Another highlight is Best Kind Of Something, which has an almost rockabilly feel and features a Jeepster-like riff to the extent that my 10 yr old son said it sounded like "a Western Marc Bolan", though to be fair Bolan plundered that one from elsewhere himself. (Howlin' Wolf's You'll Be Mine to be precise!)
Somewhere In Blue ends with Goodbye Dreamer. which along with the opening title track is probably the pick of the lot. Sure it's old fashioned or traditional or whatever you want to call it, but this really has got a lovely melody which allows Deena's voice to excel as she sings lines like...
"I knew what I was in for before this ride
I gambled and I lost
It's a gorgeous track and one that I'll definitely be coming back to. So whilst Somewhere In Blue is not the classic that I'd like Deena to come up with (and that her voice probably deserves), it definitely has its moments because as always there's a lot to enjoy the moment she opens her mouth and sings.