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Album: Tristan Prettyman: Twentythree
Street Date: August 2, 2005
Length: 36:50
Rating: 3.5
Reviewed by: Brian

After recording two demos and touring nationally for two years opening for artists such as Jason Mraz and G. Love and Special Sauce, San Diego native Tristan Prettyman had already gained a staunch following in the underground music scene. With her 2005 Virgin Records debut Twentythree, Tristan's fanbase may expand exponentially as finally the masses will be exposed to this sufer chick turned singer-songwriter.

1. Love Love Love - Twentythree's first single, "Love Love Love" is an acoustic guitar-driven mid-tempo track. It is very appealing musically and is one of those songs that will make you nod your head on snap your fingers to the beat. Prettyman's vocals are very good on this track as she has a very unique, folky voice. The lyrics for the song are light and enjoyable. One of the better songs on the CD.

2. Always Feel This Way - Another acoustic guitar driven track, "Always Feel This Way" is a bit edgier than "Love Love Love." Tristan's vocals get lost a bit underneath the music, but they are still rather plesant. The lyrics are rather straightforward in discussing the topic of the song, but they are thoughtful in their own way.

3. Story - "Story" is a slowed down acoustic guitar-led track which speeds up after the first chorus. Lyrically this song is beautifully delivered. Vocally the song isn't overpowering, but since the lyrical content is so good it still sounds very nice.

4. Electric - Following the theme of the CD so far, this is an acoustic guiar driven track. The tempo is very slow, but the guitar-playing and other added effects are beautiful. Again Prettyman comes through with very strong, effective lyrics and carries them out through very solid vocals.

5. Shy That Way - "Shy That Way" (featuring Tristan's boyfriend Jason Mraz) is one of the best songs, if not the best song, on the CD. The music is an electic pop/folk mix of guitar and some backing drums. The lyrical content is meaningful, and Prettyman and Mraz's vocals mesh fantastically as they trade off verses and come together on the chorus later in the song. Like "Love Love Love," this is definitely a song that will have you snapping your fingers to the beat.

6. Please - Twentythree's tempo speeds up here as we get into a faster mid-tempo guitar driven track. It has a very folkish feel again, which could be said in general about the entire CD. This is a solid song vocally and lyrically, although it doesn't jump out as one of the top songs on the CD.

7. Breathe - "Breathe" starts with an interesting mix of strings and drums in a slower mid-tempo. The instrumentals work very well in the context of the song. This is a very good song lyrically, and Prettyman's vocals bring them across well.

8. Song for the Rich - A slower acoustic guitar driven track, "Song for the Rich" coddles instrumentals that could be considered raw into something that is very beautiful. The lyrics are heartfelt and meaningful, and Prettyman's delivery of them is wispy and somber, adding to the beauty of the song.

9. Smoke - The first non-completely guitar driven track, "Smoke" is morso driven by a drum baseline with accompanying strings. The tempo is calm and steady. Lyrically this is kind of an experimental story-telling song, but it works well. It is interesting to see Tristan use a new vocal style on this track instead of her normal delivery. It is always nice to see artists chance it up successfully.

10. Melting - Now we are back to a slower acoustic guitar driven track. The strongest portion of this song by far is the lyrical content. The vocals are solid, Tristan shows a bit of vocal range, but not a whole lot as range is probably one of her biggest limitations at this point.

11. Simple as It Should Be - Twentythree finishes out with a very catchy acoustic guitar track. The lyrical content is impressive, and the vocals flow with the instrumentals perfectly.

12. November - "November" is included as a bonus track on Twentythree. It is a slower acoustic track which fits in well with the rest of the CD. Not a bad song to have as a bonus track.

13. Mess (iTunes Exclusive) - If you purchase Twentythree through iTunes, you will recieve "Mess" along with the standard 11 tracks. It is another acoustic guitar track with good lyrics and solid vocals.

Overall Impression:
This CD is a bit short without the bonus tracks to be a full-legnth CD (36:50), but at least every minute of that time is filled with quality music. Tristan Prettyman has a pleasingly unique voice and pens lyrics which are very easy to relate to. If Tristan's voice or lyrics don't grab you, her instrumentals definitely will. The instrumental production, even though it consists mostly of different acoustic guitar arrangements, is nearly flawless and very impressive. For a major label debut, you can't really ask for more than what Tristan Prettyman gives you with Twentythree.

For more information on Tristan Prettyman visit tristanprettyman.com.

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