It's Too Late
Message in a Bottle
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
You Oughta Know
Take It Easy
Alice Ripley first worked up these songs as a way of unwinding after her Tony Award-winning performances as the troubled Diana in the musical Next to Normal. She brings a smoldering desperation to her readings of everything from Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” accompanied only by her acoustic guitar. A talented songwriter herself, Ripley gets under the skin of these tunes to find unexpected pockets of suffering and need. Especially revealing is her nervously urgent take on Sting’s “Message In a Bottle” and her melancholy treatment of Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey’s “Take It Easy.” She infuses “Anticipation” with an anxiety missing in the Carly Simon original. Her anguished vocal edge brings out every iota of rage in Alanis Morrisette’s “You Ought to Know.” Rather than tackling such tunes like a rock singer, Ripley combines the clarity of musical theater with the vulnerability of a folk artist in her approach. The results are often surprising and sometimes disturbing, but consistently fresh and unique.