Review for Cedar and Gold: Tristan Prettyman
Tristan Prettyman is a Californian singer/songwriter who very few people may be aware of. Those who do it is probably through her on-off relationship/collaborations with Jason Mraz. Her third album Cedar and Gold comes after her split from Mraz and if you didn't know that, then you will by the end of the album. I don't think since listening to Dylan's Blood on the tracks have I heard a breakup album that is so joyous and yet so cold at the same time. I wouldn't want to speculate that the breakup was not amicable, but when you see songs called 'I Was Gonna Marry You', 'The Rebound' and hear the eerie 'Second Chance' you will forgiven for thinking this.
Ever since I heard Prettyman's Love EP with the wonderful Evaporated I have loved listening to her play, through her albums Twentythree and Hello...x I felt that I watched her grow into a wonderful songwriter and not just one of those acoustic acts who happens to play their own songs. It is difficult to listen to those albums and then come to this one. Again, it is almost like listening to Blood on the Tracks for the first time and having gone through a pretty bad breakup I felt every syllable that she uttered
"I threw away the postcards and all the pictures I have kept/ I didn't even burn them/ I didn't think you deserved that much respect." (Second Chance)
Even a happy song like 'Quit You', which sounds a lot like Feist has a bitter taste to it in the end.
This is not to say that this is a bad album, far from it, the album is solid with her fiery single My Oh My sounding more like something from Alanis Morrisette's debut. The mix of songs is wonderful neither focusing on the acoustic mellow songs that brought her to the dance or the big heavy rock out numbers that fans of her earlier work may find out of character. It is true that the songs are often too personal to enjoy, but for anyone who has ever had their heart broken (and who hasn't) this could be the album that you listen to while you open up the third bag of nachos wrapped in your duvet.
Cedar and Gold is a wonderful album, different to her previous work, but with echoes of that work which will not alienate her fans, but hopefully bring in more fans who will give her the fame that she has deserved all this time. It is doubtful that you will be playing much of this album during a party, but for those who like their lyrics thoughtful and their music ecletic then this is the album for you.