From the initial notes and first words sung by Paula Held on her album DRIVE, it’s obvious you’re in the presence of something special, from a singer writer whose work draws from and touches the mind, body and soul. With a voice as immediately familiar and tender as a dear friend or fondly remembered lover, Held spins her songs from natural imagery, heartfelt emotions, and a vivid sensual lexicon. She draws from the finest and most sophisticated strains across the breadth of popular music to weave a sound that transcends genre to become timeless and endearing. DRIVE glows with riches to be savored time and again as … visionary facets and evocative pleasures are revealed with every successive listen. It’s an album, as the title implies, that transports the listener to that realm where the magic happens.
Launching the 10-song collection with the warm breeze of “I Need To Drive,” Held takes you on a rich musical and lyrical journey through scenic and mystical places. She paints such redolent images as “a shimmering sapphire shy,” “a chandelier of stars,” “Musclewoods, all dipped in mercury and silver,” “heavenly bodies suspended in space” and “rainbows to chase” atop a canvas of luxuriant musicality. Along the way you meet fellow travelers with a “Tumbleweed Heart” or “Watermelon Moon Eyes,” savor touches of romanticism under the midnight sky with “You’re My Falling Star” and “I Don’t Care About the Moon,” and tap your feet the soulful bop of “Shoop Ta Sho,” lit by a deliciously muted trumpet. The reflective “Winter Blossom” and “Moon’s Too Bright” draw out archetypal feelings we all share, and by the time she closes the album with the warm embers of “Our Goodbyes,” you know you’ve made the acquaintance of a new and wonderful musical companion who is a delightfully welcome addition to your life.