Scripps News Service - May 2004

Tuned In: Amelia's 'After All'
By CHUCK CAMPBELL
"It's a standard strategy used by critics and fans alike to persuade an unconvinced audience of the value of a CD: "It gets better with repeated listens."

"Truth is, most music sounds more appealing if it's given the chance to work into a listener's subconscious via multiple exposures. Any angler knows the more you cast your hooks out there, the more fish you'll catch."

"Subtle bands like Amelia usually count on such audience diligence, but the indie group from Portland, Ore., is immediately addictive with "After All." Just try resisting the romantic blend of lush rhythmic swoon and winsome vocals on first track "Jigsaw" or the aching opening declaration of "Last Pariah": "Brokenhearted fools/They're not that much to look at."

"Lead singer Teisha Helgerson is the chief dealer for her group's aural narcotics, her dulcet voice glowing with sophisticated sorrow that's not quite as restrained as Cowboy Junkies' Margot Timmons nor as demonstrative as k.d. lang. Yet Helgerson wouldn't be so effective without the band - Scott Weddle (guitars), Rich Cuellar (drums) and Jesse Emerson (bass). Together, they craft cosmopolitan cocktail music that fuses lilting Americana, Old World endearment and Latin swing."

"First single "Better Than Sleeping Alone" is a grabber, with slinky upright bass, brushed snare and polite pedal steel supporting the singer's countrified cadence. Amelia also floats through the dreamy piano bar ditty "All But the Sea" and sashays through the smooth ease of "Cannonball," plus there's a kiss of Euro-swank in the downcast French allure of "Et Vous."

"Like many 21st-century indie acts, Amelia is making a hard push through online retail at outlets ranging from amazon.com to the group's own ameliaband.com. Those who track it down will find it instantly rewarding."

"And it gets better with repeated listens."

"Rating: 4 out of 5"