Album Review: Missy Higgins – Oz (2014 LP)

missy higgins oz album art

With a beautiful catalogue of cover songs, Oz, represents the talent across many Australian musicians and bands and it’s safe to say that Missy Higgins approaches each song with such clarity, grace and passion. An underrated musician in many respects, Missy crafts each song to perfection by showcasing her soothing vocals, adding an atmosphere of peaceful serenity with her own personality and style in each track. A style one cannot imitate because of the genuine, honest nature it upholds.

“You Only Hide” is an emotional opener, Higgins putting her own spin to the track off Something For Kate’s classic album, Echolalia. It’s obvious that she feels connected with the number; there’s a lot of emotion here. With the minimalistic piano accompaniment and her ghostly vocals, it brings out the best in the singer and illustrates her talent as a musician.

“NYE”, originally sung by Perry Keyes, is a fun and quirky addition, enlightening the rhythm of the compilation. Its jazzy blues atmosphere and the added trumpet brings life to the record. Even for a musician that thrives on slow songs, Higgins encompasses an invaluable quality of being adaptable. With this release I feel she has opened up opportunities for herself as an artist; it is not easy trying to re-create an original song and making it sound like your own.

Divinyls’ fans can appreciate Higgins’ approach to “Back To The Wall”. With added suspenseful violins and piano accompaniment, it showcases her obvious passion for contemporary music. It’s a rare find: soulful, creative AND visionary. Concluding the compilation is “The Way You Are Tonight”, originally by Don Walker, highlighting Higgins’ nurturing vocals. Due in part to its easy-listening nature, the track can be compared to “Come Away With Me” by Nora Jones, with the music beautifully woven together and bringing a calming atmosphere to the table. The track provides the vision of two star-crossed lovers slow dancing underneath the stars, savouring the moment they have with each other and creating their own definition of forever.

Needless to say, Missy Higgins is a woman of many talents. She is a bird soaring above great heights, discovering new places that she’s never been before and that is what she has showcased on this record. She is a compelling artist and one that isn’t afraid to go above her own weight to achieve what is near to impossible.

Review Score: 8.5 out of 10

Oz is available now.

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