The daughter of a preacher, living between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia, before her parents finally settled in Portland, Oregon, Diane Birch absorbed a unique and very cosmopolitan perspective on life and rapidly c... more »ultivated a very individual style that defies categorization. The buzz is building as Music Week announced, "Diane has a voice and songwriting ability that will connect with truly global audiences."« less
The daughter of a preacher, living between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia, before her parents finally settled in Portland, Oregon, Diane Birch absorbed a unique and very cosmopolitan perspective on life and rapidly cultivated a very individual style that defies categorization. The buzz is building as Music Week announced, "Diane has a voice and songwriting ability that will connect with truly global audiences."
Larry E. (wle) from DORAVILLE, GA Reviewed on 12/11/2009...
i am VERY hard to impress!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
EclecticMusicLover | Boston, MA | 06/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I listen to a lot of music, but, it is rare for me to find someone who is truly a rare bird.
Diane Birch is that fresh new voice whose debut album "Bible Belt" just came out this month.
Diane is in her mid-twenties, but she truly sounds like an old soul.
As I listened to her cd, so many of my favorite women singers came to mind: The Indigo Girls, The Dixie Chicks, Aretha Franklin, Joss Stone, KT Tunstall, Adele, Laura Nyro, Ricki Lee Jones, even Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday.
I truly questioned how someone could remind me of all these stellar women and yet be completely her own person, yet that is the paradox and the joy of Diane Birch.
Diane's music has an eclectic feel and seems to encompass all sides of her personality and musical loves. Her life has covered a lot of ground thus far as well. She was born in Michigan, but spent her childhood traveling between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia before her family settled in Oregon.
Her father was a preacher, and, in some ways, Diane rebelled against the constraints that this placed on her. And, yet, what's fascinating is that after all that rebellion, a lot of her early influences are part of her music now as she is inspired by church hymns and sings about angels, heaven and forgiveness.
Now, imagine taking blues, classic rock, du wop, and combining them with jazz and gospel and you'll have a hint of what Diane's music is about.
She's also a brilliant piano player.
The cd opens with one of my favorites, "Fire Escape". It's a soulful sultry song about love and loss.
Diane's music is the type that slowly saunters in wearing an unlikely hat. It beckons to you, seduces you, slowly charms you and soon you find yourself dancing in a familiar dream.
Her music speaks of heartbreak, of finding oneself, of life's experiences - but even through the tears, it soars. Her music does not drag, but instead finds wings, upbeat grooves to carry it. Another favorite, "Rise Up" is inspiring.
I have gotten so tired of people trying to be trendy, of musical fads that come and go, of formulaic overproduced pop. And, for me, Diane Birch is the antidote.
She writes all of her own songs and is a gifted musician in the true sense of the word. She is fresh and new, yet her music hearkens back to the 60's and 70's. In short, her music is timeless, which to me, is the very best thing to be.
I can't really give it enough stars, but, I can say, give it a listen. I really think you'll love it.
Another favorite of mine is "Rewind", about how you wish you could just go back and press start again, but, you know you can't.
"Valentino" has rhythms which, for me, are reminiscent of "Iko Iko", a popular New Orleans folk tune, covered by the Dixie Cups. Honestly, there is not a song on this cd I don't like.
"Bible Belt" was recorded in NYC and New Orleans with the same producers who collaborated on Joss Stone's first albums. Diane is working with the best and it shows.
Diane Birch's voice is heartfelt, full of soul, and completely fearless - powerful, yet nuanced.
Her music is that of a true artist who needs to create to fulfill their vision and their passion.
Sometimes you have to "sing the blues" - and sometimes the blues just have to sing, dance, and soar beyond the sky.
This is the magic of Diane Birch.
The NEW Norah Jones?
Cynthia | Portland, Oregon | 06/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Diane Birch is reminiscent of Norah Jones and Ella Fitzgerald in a way that works without trying too hard. Diane doesn't sound like a 'wanna-be', she sounds like a pro!
Fire Escape has a pace that is perfect for a thoughtful stroll in the park. It evokes memories in a rare way - with a sweet pain.
Don't Wait Up has a nice, bluesy feel. Good all-around balance to the song.
Magic View has the best commercial appeal with an easy-to-remember, yet musically interesting number that is hauntingly beautiful.
This is not all to say that there aren't issues with the album. Some of the songs really feel dated and don't hold the attention of the listener. Sometimes, she pushes her upper register a bit, not crossing the break well [between throat and head voices] and other times, she crosses the break without a problem and sounds almost bird-like.
Overall, it is a great album and if it gets enough air-play, it should do well."
Diane Birch is a GEM!
Dawn De Lorenzo | Woodbridge, NJ | 07/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album brought me back to my childhood; born in 1974, I remember my mother playing the music of Carole King and Carly Simon. I agree wholeheartedley with other reviewers who compared Diane Birch to these two artists. Bible Belt is sultry and sweet. It makes you want to kick back with a cup of coffee, sitting out on your front porch...watching the world go by.
I highly recommend this artist and album for fans of these more contemporary artists: Corinne Bailey Rae, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and Sheryl Crow."
J | 06/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Diane Birch's Bible Belt CD reminded me of a cross between Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse. Several songs sounded like they had a gospel influence and there was a good variety of upbeat and relaxing music. I didn't know what to expect from this new artist but I look forward to hearing what she comes up with in the future. I also really appreciate singer-songwriters because their music usually suit their own voice perfectly, as is the case with this collection. I have enjoyed this album and would recommend it to friends."
Worth a look if you like this style
Adipocere | United States | 08/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Comparisons to Norah Jones are appropriate, but I'd say a more accurate description would be "Norah Jones meets Carole King." If you like this style, you will love it. A couple of songs seem a tad self-indulgent, but it definitely is different from what you've probably heard for hours at a time on radio already."