Searching for the sleeper hit of 1995, the successor to Sheryl Crow‘s Tuesday Night Music Club? Here’s a promising candidate. Sobule, a Denver native, is a clever songwriter with an anecdotal approach to lyrics. “Karen by Night” for instance is about the clerks in a fashionable New York City shoe store who find out their buttoned-down manager leads a scandalous secret life as a leather-clad biker after hours. In “I Kissed a Girl,” two ladies compare notes about what jerks their boyfriends are and end up dabbling in the love that dares not speak its name.
Sobule’s arrangements are musically adventurous as well, from the angular avant-garde rock of “Good Person Inside” to the ironically jaunty bossa nova of “(Theme from) the Girl in the Affair” to the percolating pop of “Trains.” The predominant style on this record is airy but inventive acoustic folk, a sort of watercolor version of Indigo Girls. Sobule can pitch her voice into a precious Cyndi Lauper-like quaver, but her natural tonality is lucid and lissome. Sobule’s record isn’t as dazzling as Crow’s breakout, but in its subtle way, its pleasures are just as keen. (Lava/Atlantic)