While in summation this is a standard singer songwriter folk romp, Stephanie Dosen has a set of pipes better and more versatile than most of her peers. That does not say much for her songwriting, but it does bode well in how she belts out each note. Lead single ‘This Joy’, from her forthcoming A Lily For The Spectre is a cross between Cat Power and Maria Taylor, but done in a much more sublime fashion, almost adult contemporary in truth, almost, but I will not venture that far to over categorise.
So, yes, there is not much going on in this song. Not much is a good thing if one hopes to land on mainstream radio, and not much is often the perfect ethos in designing a hit folk ballad. Dosen does combine her flowery, love-laced vocals with a string quartet – sometime overdone to death in modern-day balladry – and it works on this one, because the strings are mainly mood magnifiers, not needless, hyperbolic background additions. Plus, her voice works well alongside the fiddles which, credit to the chanteuse, does makes the track just that much more listenable. Still, nothing much is still nothing much, and this song is just that.
B-side ‘Overcome’ is much of the same. Another love ballad set to acoustic strumming and minimalist arrangement, Dosen once again proclaims her love for someone in standard female singer songwriter fashion, this time with flashes of percussion signalling the change from verse to chorus instead of a string quartet. All in all, nothing worth writing more about, but nothing intrinsically faulty. I could imagine these tracks finding success being licensed to H&M and Zara as background music.
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6Shain Shapiro's Score