Jessica Lea Mayfield’s appeal is the extra breaths buried in her minimalist melodies, the uncomplicated lyrics sung with pangs and a lack of pretension, the mix of country and traditional Americana elements into typical acoustic fare. But the Ohio singer-songwriter’s Nonesuch debut is a little overburdened with production.
I say this with the knowledge that the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach helmed the album, “Tell Me.” There were seemingly a million tracks at Mayfield’s disposal, and they’re filled with electric guitars and pristine drum tracks galore, but with her six-string plodding simply beside her plain voice. I find I know frustratingly little about her as a person and songwriter at the end of 11 tracks.
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