March 03, 2003 12:00 PM

Jennifer Hanson (Capitol)

Warm, rich and sensuous, capable of ranging from bluesy rock to intimate ballads, Jennifer Hanson’s voice at times brings to mind Stevie Nicks’s or the young Linda Ronstadt’s. With her versatile debut album, though, the 29-year-old country-pop newcomer should make a name for herself. Hanson cowrote 9 of this disc’s 11 tracks, among them the jazz-inflected “Simply Yours” and the highlight, “Half a Heart Tattoo,” a clever story song about two women realizing they have identical tattoos devoted to the same man.

Hanson’s husband, Mark Nesler, cowrote five songs that suit the vivacious style of the singer, who is also nicely complemented by fine musicians. Although Hanson succumbs to the overwrought pop of “Beautiful Goodbye,” on which her exaggerated phrasing wears thin, she is a welcome new voice in Nashville.

BOTTOM LINE: A big hand for Hanson

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