Album Review: Paula Cole's 7

Early in the month, Paula Cole let her fans know she was finishing up a new album, and last night she announced that it was finished and available--a week sooner than originally projected. This was surprising but good news because it marks the shortest time between Cole records (only 2 years since 2013's Raven). The new album, 7, is Cole's second independent release, and she continues her engagement folk-pop sounds. (As you may have guessed, it's also her seventh record.) 7 is a personal, reflective album that moves between songs about looking back over the past ("We Don't Know (Where We Are Going)," "New York City," "Puncture Wound") and character studies ("Glouchester Harbor Shore," "Father," "The Book of Dorothy"). Whether she's thinking about life's unexpected turns, or about her family (like her grandmother, Dorothy) these songs are lovingly paced and performed. Cole sometimes let's her voice spread its wings, but many of these songs are performed in hushed tones. What results is an intimate, sweet, and personal album. Be sure to stick it out until the lullaby closer, a cover of the folk tune "Goodnight, Irene." It's worth it.

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