Amplifier April 2005

Blink the Brightest
Zoe / Rounder

by Emily Zemler

The problem with a lot of musicians is that they play like they’ve got something to prove. Through their music you can often faintly hear a sense of urgency, as if they are trying to subliminally convince you that they are worthy of your attention. Tracy Bonham needs make no such plea -- nor does she -- on her third album, Blink the Brightest. Her music speaks for itself, effortlessly proving to be truly deserving of the listener’s full attention. Bonham sings with a maturity and clarity reminiscent of songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin, backing her words with self-executed guitar, keyboards, piano and violin.

Songs like “Dumbo Sun” (named after the Brooklyn neighborhood where Bonham splits her time with Los Angeles) and the opening track, “Something Beautiful,” resound with confidence, the music easily catching your ear though not overly laden with hooks. Blink the Brightest is an album that will last, eluding genre categorization and trends, and revealing Bonham as a musician who proves everything without ever actually trying.