Norine Braun



Miles 2 Go

Reviewed by Annie Lin Album: Miles To Go Please forgive the giant spaceship that descends on this Canadian singer-songwriter's sophomore effort before she even croons a single note. The overload of digital effects on "Miles to Go" sometimes muddies Braun's musical intentions, but fails to steal the spotlight from her strong, jazz-inflected vocal presence. This woman sounds like she could sing Shakespeare. In a smoky nightclub. With a bad case of strep throat. Smooth, intimately-produced numbers like "Wounded Little Bird" and "Her Story" showcase Braun's voice best, but forays into retro be-bop, big-band and swing, like the touching "Goodbye Caramel," are equally rewarding. The wild fluctuations in genre make it difficult to categorize this album. You could swear it's jazz, but then Braun whips out a bluesy guitar romp ("Wounded Little Bird"), slips into melodic rootsy rock ("Safe With You") and pulls the wool over your eyes with a song like "Running on the Edge." The latter borders on goth-rock, with its Nine Inch Nails knife-slash guitar riffs and the pounding, hard-ball energy of Prodigy. It's a little scary, but behind the darker interludes soars the same strong, comforting voice that you started with and you know it's going to be okay.