The tale is in the telling, but is she up to it?
Jon Lusk 2008
Irish artist Jenny Lindfors is the latest hopeful debutant to join the large and growing throng of slightly retro, mostly acoustic singer songwriters clamouring for your attention. The competition is tough out there. When The Night Time Comes could be described as a romantic song cycle – whether it's all about one relationship or several – beginning and ending as it does with songs themed around desire and lust, and getting dark and emotionally messy in the middle. Hardly a fresh topic, but the tale is in the telling, so is she up to it?
She's certainly blessed with a great, bluesy voice and knows how to use it, coming across a bit like Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi on the confident opener Night Time, which, like several other tracks has an ever-so-slightly 'ethnic' vibe courtesy of James Guilmartin's djembe drum. There's a distinctly CSNY flavour to the vocal harmonies on Voodoo, and definite shades of Joni Mitchell on the ballads I Don't Really Want You Here and By The Wayside, while Sheryl Crow may have been the role model on the more upbeat Time Warp and Play It Away.
Lindfors plays guitar, banjo, ukulele and percussion and even does her own backing vocals at times as well as producing and writing all the material. Whether that was down to the constraints of the budget or an oversized ego, there's a little too much of Jenny and not enough of other people on this overly autobiographical effort. It sags a third of the way in with the schmaltzy cello and awkward lyrics of Lovestage, and things get worse with Looming, which suffers similar problems.
Lindfors is at her best on the more rocking tracks when the focus is more on her voice than what she's saying. By the time her forty minutes are up, you may be wishing she'd either broaden her subject matter or try singing someone else's songs – the material isn't strong enough to engage throughout – and perhaps get someone else in to produce.