Music Review: Here With Me

The characters in Jennifer O'Connor's folky fourth album struggle to cope, though you'd never know it from her dry delivery.

The ordinary people Jennifer O'Connor sings about are in extreme distress, though you'd never know it from her dry, laconic delivery. She avoids cheesy histrionics in her folky pop, the better to illuminate the details in her vivid tales of separation and longing. From the need to "justify tremendous loss" on the sad, nostalgic "Valley Road '86" to the forlorn request "Could you maybe tuck me in?" in the toe-tapping "Daylight Out," the characters in O'Connor's great fourth album struggle valiantly to cope. Without promising glib answers, she offers a shoulder to lean on, adding, "I hope it helps."

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