album reviews

Chaotic Resolve
Curb Records (2006)

Tiffany Arbuckle Lee started as a backup singer, but her solo career -- under the moniker Plumb -- is much more aggressive than one might expect of someone who used to stand in the shadows. In fact, her passionate sound has much in common with the sassy croon of Garbage's Shirley Manson and the dramatic, soaring vocals of Evanescence's Amy Lee.

Where Evanescence is brooding, Plumb is bright and cheery, almost too much so, as her over-earnest singing exaggerates her Hallmark-style lyrics. On the uber-cheesy "Real Life Fairytale," she wails, "You are the everything I dreamed about/You are the guy who stole my heart," while the coy "Blush (Only You)" features her blunt, ardently repeated plea, "I wanna be in love with you."

Lee's songs come together when she doesn't sound as if she's shouting to be heard. The simple, piano-driven "Cut" highlights her confessional lyrics, revealing a deep compassion for the fan whose message-board post about self-abuse inspired the song. The perky "Sleep" reads like a lullaby, but Lee's jubilant singing so tenderly captures the song's sentiment that it's hard to imagine anyone who hears it dozing off.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 19 May 2006, Page WE14
.: Chaotic Resolve on