Raven, Paula Cole's sixth studio album and first independent release is an exquisite record. I am proud to have supported this album, and could not be more pleased with the result. As a dedicated fan, I can say that this album presents Paula at arguably her very best.
Paula Cole fans will NOT be disappointed.
If Ithaca had echoes of This Fire, Raven may have echoes of Harbinger, but I hesitate to make this comparison, because Raven is so fully realized, with its own cohesive sound.
This is a singer/songwriter's album, and a musician's album. A beautiful -- and at times heartbreaking -- authenticity, vulnerability and strength carry the record beginning to end. There are no weak songs.
That said, stand-out tracks include Manitoba (classically Cole-esque in its mounting intensity), sorrow-on-the-hudson (a beautifully delivered and bitterly poignant ballad) and The Imaginary Man (dramatic -- a contender for my new favorite song of her entire catalog).
If you value genuine, beautifully crafted music, buy this album.
If you appreciate intelligent, authentic lyrics, honest and bold, buy this album.
If you are moved by incomparable vocals that effortlessly glide from tender whisper to unrestrained power, buy this album.
In short, buy this album.
Wonderfully done, Paula!