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Surrender Dorothy


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Audio CD, February 22, 2005
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Surrender Dorothy + Fortune Cookies + Blame It On Me
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ignited by the crunchy acoustic guitar rhythm that fires off the lead track, "Letter," into other strong arm cuts like "The Benefit" and "Create," Alana's vocal presence, passion and songwriting prowess have never been more obvious. Anchored with her golden soul voice, these tracks use elements of rock, pop, blues and r&b to develop ideas into deeply personal expressions.

Amazon.com

Alana Davis, bless her, is like Joss Stone without the pyrotechnics and pageantry. There is the voice--a pure thing, equal parts springtime-fair lovely and lived-in husky--and then there is the way she inhabits it. Instead of causing the listener to feel as if he should be sitting on a panel alongside a team of judges furiously scribbling down marks for her technical ability and overall performance, she might as well be sprawled on the next sofa edging away thoughts about what comes next on the day's agenda and subliminally suggesting it's bubble bath time. That's the vibe--free-flowing and just slightly trippy, with a lot of musical legroom--that defined 1998's Blame It on Me, her rave-winning debut, and it carries over to Surrender Dorothy with the same easy fluidity. Jazz, R&B, and blues elements, each gorgeously gauged, dart around her tell-it-like-it-is lyrics ("And you see when we're together/There's a pull we can't deny/I know that we may not be forever/But I feel like I could try," from "Wide Open"), and even the lyrics that don't belong to her, like Bob Marley's on "Nice Time," sound easily nudged into her ownership. That said, there's no getting around that "The Reaper," as in "Don't Fear the Reaper," the other cover here, was a weird choice. But take her hand anyway: If sophisticated, earthy pop moves you, Baby, she's your man. --Tammy La Gorce

1. The Letter
2. The Benefit
3. Create
4. Vision
5. Wide Open
6. Right There
7. Jaded (Goodbye)
8. Desert Rose (Higher Than A Lover)
9. Reaper
10. Stay
11. Nice Time

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tigress
  • ASIN: B00074CBOC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,201 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Biography

When Alana Davis was a little girl, she found her key to happiness in a roundabout way. She'd go to the principal's office in school to call her mom and tell her she was having a bad day. Upon returning home, her mother - a former jazz singer and single mom - would have her favorite song, Stevie Wonder's "As" from "Songs in the Key of Life" playing and it would ... Read more in Amazon's Alana Davis Store

Visit Amazon's Alana Davis Store
for 5 albums, 27 photos, discussions, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
55%
4 star
35%
3 star
10%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 20 customer reviews
This woman's voice is so pure, so haunting and edgey, as she swoops from note to note like a seagull over the sea.
The rocker boy
It could be said that Davis could sing the phone book and it would be a good song, however, she comes up with material that suits a voice that defies description.
Keys8
Alana Davis is one of the rare artists that have managed to bridge the gap between folk and soul without faltering.
Nasser Alqatami

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nasser Alqatami on March 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Alana Davis is one of the rare artists that have managed to bridge the gap between folk and soul without faltering. Ever since her striking debut, Blame It On Me, Davis has conjured up a mixture unlike any other. The beats are heavy on acoustic, yet never denying its deep-rooted soul. The New York native created a mold that is somewhere between Bill Withers and Jewel, without being as oblique as Tracy Chapman.

But as with many artist who dare to create a template all their own, the likelihood of maintaining a long career is cut down. Consider Ben Harper and Maxwell, they have delivered new sounds yet are pigeonholed into somewhat of a novelty cliché. Remember how Erykah Badu was titled the Miss Cleo of hip hop?

After Elektra records decided to disregard earthier tones to big beats, tossing the careers of both Davis and Chapman out of the window, many artists started grasping how unpredictable the music industry is.

Davis started her own record company named Tigress Records, under which she released this album. Following the footsteps of the woman who gave her her first hit "32 Flavors."

With Surrender Dorothy being her first record post-emancipation we notice a more relaxed and organic Alana Davis, even more so than her debut.

The album does not have evident radio-hits like "I Want You" or "Crazy," but it does have grabby tunes like "The Letter" and the touching "Right There."

Here Davis concentrates on making a record more sonically flowing than anything else. Even the cover version of Bob Marley's "Nice Time" is safely tucked away as the last bonus track.

Then there are more rock influenced ditties like "The Benefit," which gives the record an edge without straying too far away.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Culbertson on June 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I think this very fine album by Alana Davis might just be a selling point for satellite radio. I got a new car about a month ago, and, included at no charge for the first three months, is satellite radio. I never heard of Alana Davis until I heard the song Create from Surrender Dorothy on one of the satellite radio stations, and liked her immediately. We all know how annoying it can be to hear a song you like on the radio and then the announcer doesn't say who it was. Well on satellite radio, for those unfamiliar with it, the name of the artist and song show up on the screen, or at least, that's how it works on mine. I wanted to hear more, listened to a couple of samples on Ammy, and bought the CD.

Her music is a little different than most, I think. I hear some soul, folk/rock, a little funk at times, even a touch of jazz-like chords, occasionally. The guitar accompaniment is terrific and I like what she does with her voice, which has a fairly unique sound. Her music does remind me just a bit of Ani DiFranco, but it's really her own sound and style, and is a bit hard to categorize.

I've only listened to the album a time or two, but I haven't found a song I don't like. All songs are written by Alana Davis, with the exception of The Reaper, which is done very nicely, and a bonus track, Nice Time, written by Bob Marley. Other favorites include Letter, The Benefit, which is a real rocker, Create-- the best song on the CD in my view -- Wide Open, Jaded and Stay. A criticism of the CD might be that many of the songs sound somewhat similar. However, I like that sound very much, so I guess that's not all bad.

This artist is brand new to me and I like her a lot.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keys8 on May 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
On this, her third release, Alana Davis shows she's lost none of the abilities that so richly defined her first two albums, "Blame It On Me," and "Fortune Cookies." Like those other albums, "Surrender Dorothy," insists on repeated listenings, its that good. It's more of an electric album, more guitar-dominated than those earlier, equally impressive, outgings. If one listens to the 11 cuts and doesn't feel changed they either have no heart or no soul. Both are in equal evidence on this masterwork. It could be said that Davis could sing the phone book and it would be a good song, however, she comes up with material that suits a voice that defies description. Each song contains the trademarks many have come to expect from the singer-songwriter. The lyrics grab your attention on first listen and on repeated hearings you bear witness to a soul revealing secrets from the deep. Davis has assembled a top-notch in band on this album and each song is better for it, particularly "Vision," "Wide Open," and "Right There." In the case of "Vision," Davis experiments with chord progressions that are more at home in a jazz framework and makes them her own. On the surface, "The Reaper," the Blue Oyster Cult classic from nearly 30-years ago may seem a strange choice, but as has always been the case, Davis makes this her own. Nowhere is Davis' impassioned singing more in evidence than on "Jaded(Goodbye)." Its a song that's as much heartbreaking as heartwarming as Davis uses her unique voice to perfection. And while "Surrender Dorothy" may seem a strange title for this body of work, it comes from the same source that gave us the phrase "hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable." That line would be an appropriate one to think of while listening to this jem.
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