Crazy Is

Anna Haas

Independent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I've never seen American Idol. Not because I don't appreciate a talented singer, but mostly because reality TV itself doesn't interest me. However, from what I've gathered about American Idol, a woman like Anna Haas could benefit greatly from it. A powerful, soulful and animated singer, Haas has a flawless set of pipes and delivers songs with emotion and sincerity. And beyond that, she's easy on the eyes and has a stylish presence – something always helpful in the world of TV. Though she's most recently been working in the theater/dance industry, she rediscovered her love for singing and spent the last two years working on this debut album, which funded by Kickstarter. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

To describe Crazy Is as merely a production might be understating it. This album was meticulously assembled using nearly 30 musicians and a choir. It was recorded in several studios in both Nashville and New York. As a result, each song here was given a lot attention so as to highlight each moment to the fullest. Not surprisingly, every track finds its own identity, never tracing the same two paths. From warm, bluesy moments to forceful guitar solos to moody pianos, Haas and company move from rock to funk to orchestral pop with the greatest of ease.

This is lyrically a very dense album; it's obvious that Haas values her wordplay and imagery. “Marilyn” tries to channel the loneliness of Marilyn Monroe. “Find Your Home” pays homage to a family member. But it's not all gloomy themes; “Lilla” is about a same-sex relationship that is both forthright and steamy, and Haas has a lot of playful wit embedded in her storytelling.

For the most part, the pianos and Haas' inimitable voice are the focal point here, though the guitar solos on "Song Of A Suffering Child" and the upbeat "The Real New York" show a different yet equally stunning side of Crazy Is. While the second half of the album picks up the pace and volume, moving into pop rock territory, this collection exits on "Find Your Home," a sparse ballad that parallels the greatness of legends like McLachlan or Amos in its beauty and grace.

As far as debuts go, you'd be hard pressed to find anything as timeless and immediately fascinating as this. Let's hope Haas works music regularly into her many artistic endeavors, as she's clearly a highly skilled songstress.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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