As It Should Be (EP)
Artist: Treva Blomquist
Length: 6 Tracks / 24 mins
I keep wondering whether I’m missing something.
Treva Blomquist has won songwriting awards: she reached the finals of her
first she entered, the Kerrville New Folk Competition, as Shawn Colvin
and Lyle Lovett had previously. Somehow, this disc doesn’t shout that out
to me. Perhaps you only need one good song in a competition, but here she
has to come up with six good tracks. Still, with co-writers helping out
on most of them, that should be no problem.
I think I have been put off by the ordinary
standard set by the first two (“Home” and “Fire with Fire”), which stand
out like two chameleons on a tree trunk, and where her voice is a little
whiney. But “I Could Get Used to This,” a song that revels in a good relationship,
is helped enormously by some harmonies from Jeremy Lister. “Love Abounds”
also successfully celebrates the goodness of being safely married – something
that is hard to do without being cheesy. There is proof here that Blomquist
can use her voice well, and some enjoyable, relaxed lead work that gives
the song character. The strongest cut is the title track, adorned on this
EP with a fine string section that gets a chance to shine on its own towards
the end. This is really the only song with a memorable hook, one that the
melody builds up well towards.
Overall, she strikes me as a singer who
would be good live as a support act, where the listener has a visual advantage
and is free from distractions, while the artist is free from too much expectation
fired in her direction. Her songs would be strong enough to work solo,
but here her band, The Suits, add extra instrumentation that serves her
well. The violin on the upbeat “You Deserve Better” works well with Ben
Gormaker’s mandolin, and you get the feel that the wealth of Nashville’s
experience is being added to her account. There is talent here, but not
enough to pull me into the disc. I still have to work hard to get into
the songs, and that’s not the way it should be.