Singing From the Heart

Food From Heaven (TNT Productions)
Jody Cooley

By Kory Wilcoxson

Jody Cooley's strength is her voice. She delivers lyrics with passion and depth, combining a trained technique with resonating soul, a cross between Anne Murray and Janis Joplin. Food, produced in Louisville, has simple and unobtrusive instrumentation, leaving Cooley's vocals to carry the emotional weight or her songs. She's more than up to the task, and at times over-interprets her lyrics, letting too much fluctuation undermine her own vocal clarity, as on "From the Bottom of My Heart."

While Food is a good album, it suffers from poor production. Cooley's melodic voice is often muted, making it sound like she's singing into a tunnel. One can only wonder how much more powerfully her voice would have been had it been given a better stage.

The songs, all written By Cooley, are simple and have spiritual overtones, and provide sturdy vehicles for the intertwining of her vocals and her faith. It's obvious that she sings from the heart; in light of that, things like production shortcomings are superfluous.