I like Jill Barber and Harry Connick, Jr. for opposite reasons. I like Barber precisely because she doesn’t make the same album twice, and I like Connick because he does. I have trouble calling Fool’s Gold a jazz album, but I’m unconvinced there’s a better bucket for it. “Only You,” for example, is very Hoagy Carmichael. The lead track, “Broken for Good,” on the other hand, could just as easily be an Eli Paperboy Reed release; “The Least that She Deserves” is largely country. As a whole, Fool’s Gold has 50s-era pop song construction, but more gentle instrumentation. Barber’s voice is distinctive, and she delivers sentiment without being maudlin. Maybe this album belongs in a sepia-toned, anachronistic vision of a country fair. At least, that’s what I feel listening to “Darling, It Was You.” But then that’s probably just me.[rating:4] -DMK
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