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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 99 - 10/28/04

Xanda Howe
And How

Xanda Howe's an interesting singer who might get a shot at the big time if she's in luck. Some of her material is reminiscent of Dido and other songs are more singer-songwriterly stuff. The song "And How" is lightly fluffy radio pop in the aforementioned Dido's vein. It's well-produced and not cliched tough.

The disco of "Driving Me Mad" should get her a big hit if there's any justice. Its throbbing beat and sassy lead vocal are too good to ignore. "My Beautiful Friend" is a faintly exotic sounding track that should get most dancefloors jumping.

A laid-back setting is created for "How Do I Love Thee", an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem set to music. Howe sings it sweetly and reverently and Jimmy Kent adds a nice rap. Oddly, it works. "Midnight Poet" is an impressively cinematic song. A bare live version of Tom Waits' "Time" rounds things off nicely. Howe's girlish tones work well with Waits song.

And How is a stellar debut.

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