Blink the Brightest

Tracy Bonham. <i>Zoe</i>

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Tracy Bonham could be Sheryl Crow’s moodier, less sociable sister. Her third album is a pop-music gem, combining lavish melodies and snappy lyrics about the nagging hunger for satisfaction, brought to life by her dry, sardonic vocals. Cataloguing the effects of obsession, she mutters, “Why can’t I live without you now?” in the jittery “I Was Born Without You,” then surrenders to desire in “Take Your Love Out on Me,” featuring a soaring chorus that suggests an unsettling dream. Bonham doesn’t pretend to have answers—the wry “Did I Sleep Through it All?” closes the album with a meditation on uncertainty—but she turns the search for them into remarkable drama.

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