The album What a Difference a Melody Makes by The Singer and the Songwriter is an ode to 40-50’s Jazz not dissimilar to what Anabot tried to do in their latest album. What a Difference a Melody Makes is a much more purist attempt however, there are no fancy synthesizers or other modern contraptions that mix uneasily with the vintage sound.
What a Difference a Melody Makes is if nothing else true to form. Rachel Garcia imparts us with her soulful voice throughout the album and Thu Tran gives a great performance on jazz guitar. Again with What a Difference a Melody Makes many of the songs could be placed on a vintage turntable and be passed off as music of an earlier era. In this area I say more power to them, with so many bands these days pushing recycled 60’s nostalgia and with the indie circuit awash with third rate Velvet Underground ripoffs it’s refreshing to see someone do a good honest take on another era.
Not all of the tracks are in the 40-50’s jazz style. My favorite of the album, “Dry Spell,” seems more like it belongs in the intro of a Bond film circa 1973. “Dry Spell” has excellent dynamics between a minimalistic clean jazz guitar before building to a crescendo with an artfully place drum beat kicking in before fading into an ethereal string symphony. “Dry Spell” would also be a good if anachronistic addition to Mad Men now that I think of it. “Summer Song” is also a bit different and has a more folksy feel between the acoustic guitar and harmonies.
The rest of the album doesn’t have any tracks that are a detriment to it as a whole, however none really have the impact and careful orchestration that “Dry Spell” does. As a whole, it is easy to like what The Singer and the Songwriter have managed to put together: an album which will quench anyone’s craving for a vintage sounding band with some good jazz influences.