Paste Online - July 2005

AMELIA
This Portland, Ore., quartet plays light, retro, coffee-shop jazz pop?a perfect fit for the Norah Jones era we inhabit. Subtle, yet substantial, singer Teisha Helgerson interprets the songs of guitarist Scott Weddle and bassist Jesse Emerson with gentle elegance. Resolute on ?Better Than Sleeping Alone,? the spare arrangement provides just the right support. A walking bass line and drum shuffle carries the listener forward, while bluesy guitar creates less-certain psychic space.

The French lyrics of the ?Et Vous? add to the sense that the song originated in a bygone era. ?St. James? uses piano to create a dark tone, while Weddle?s intense electric work gives ?Blackbird Pie? an intensity not heard on the majority of After All. Most importantly, though, Amelia offers its songs up to frame the lovely voice of Helgerson, a good idea for all concerned.