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Meghan Coffee 

Songs to Sail By

Too often singer/songwriters like Atlanta's Meghan Coffee fall under scrutiny more for who they're not than who they are. She broods over mournful, Fender Rhodes piano chords, which leads to inevitable comparisons to Tori Amos. That's unfortunate, because on her second release, Songs to Sail By, Coffee proves she's very much her own artist. The opening track, "Nightingale," with its arpeggio intro, indeed braces the listener for that Amos angst. Then Coffee's wistful memories of a lost love feel more human than melodramatic as she states, "You left before I was ready to let go of you." More spiritual than self-absorbed, Coffee recorded Songs in the Atlanta Presbyterian Church. Songs to Sail By shows a young artist in the midst of a modest growth spurt, making us wonder what's coming next – excluding, of course, needless comparisons. She's happily on her own, thank you very much. 3 stars

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