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shannon CUTTS
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Modern Day Eve - Click to view!Making an album on a four track in your buddy Steve's garage is somewhat analogous to being the 12th man on a Division II college basketball team. Chances are, you'll never go pro. You'll spend most of your time on the bench, soaking up insults from your coach and staying with it purely out of love for the game.

Though we've never spoken, I like to think Shannon Cutts, a Houston-based indie singer/songwriter, is of that breed. Cutts hires herself out for as little as $25 per gig (she'll play coffee houses for as much), with a ceiling of $250 per show, and has been writing songs since the age of eight. Her songs are borne out of pain (she was, at one time, anorexic and bulimic) and soul-soul searching, and offer practical solutions.

Her current release, modern day eve, is rife with such fare, and despite warts that are no doubt caused by a limited budget (some cuts sound as if they were pressed after the first or second take, perhaps because studio time was limited), it is a pleasant listen.

Most appealing about this album is the honesty of the lyrics. Cutts approaches life humbly, admits she sometimes thinks she knows more than she really does ("Modern Day Eve"), attempts to shatter pretences by calling for openness ("God So Loved"). Woven with biblical truths that are sometimes commonplace (John 3:16 makes up much of the chorus for "God So Loved") are unique testimonials to how those truths have been affected Cutts on a personal level.

Sonically, Cutts resembles Rebecca St. James and Sarah McLachlan, and employs many of the conventions of pop music, but exhibits a willingness to experiment; "Walk to a Different Beat" and "Hey Do You Know Me" have a bluegrass feel, and "You Make Me Believe" has elements of Motown, funk and alt rock. Album highlights include "God So Loved," "You Make Me Believe" and the title track.
- Ben Forrest
January 2003
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