Singer/songwriter Sasha Dobson has transitioned from a jazz singer to singer/songwriter who draws on jazz, country, and folk. This shouldn’t be a surprise, considering she toured in Norah Jones’s band for years and collaborated with songwriter Jesse Harris on her second album, Modern Romance. Dobson now returns with Aquarius, her third and first to feature all her own songs. Produced by Joel Hamilton (who's also worked with Tom Waits and Sparklehorse), the album has a dark, noir-ish feel with stripped-down arrangements, smoldering electric guitar, moody atmospherics, and subtle backing on bass and drums. Complementing the music’s dark sound are Dobson’s even darker lyrics, which focus on broken hearts (“Couldn’t Let You Go”), love gone terribly wrong (the stunning “Full Moon” is about a murderous lover), and anger (“Make It Alright”). Those interested in hearing her vocal chops should look to “Jose,” “Take My Heart," and particularly “Answer Me.” Many singer/songwriters spend more time working on songwriting than on their vocals, but here’s a singer who really can do her own songs justice.

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