April Smith: Sunny Energy, Stage-Friendly Sauciness

April Smith and the Great Picture Show i i

April Smith and the Great Picture Show's "Colors" is at least as much a ballad of heartfelt yearning as it is a stomp-and-swagger jam. Eric Ryan Anderson hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Ryan Anderson
April Smith and the Great Picture Show

April Smith and the Great Picture Show's "Colors" is at least as much a ballad of heartfelt yearning as it is a stomp-and-swagger jam.

Eric Ryan Anderson

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Colors"
  • Artist: April Smith and the Great Picture Show
  • CD: Songs for a Sinking Ship
  • Genre: Pop

April Smith was born to be an entertainer. A native of the New Jersey shore —though her old-timey sensibility wouldn't fit in too well on an MTV reality show — she radiates sunny energy and stage-ready sauciness. Her powerful, lustrous voice is the rare kind that stands out among a thousand pop stars. Just ask her fans: When Smith put out a request for funds, they readily coughed up $13,000 to cover the production of her album, Songs for a Sinking Ship.

"Colors" is the buoy that floats to the top of the record: It's an up-tempo jaunt that illustrates one side of a long-distance relationship, not lamenting the isolation but instead looking fixedly to the future. Both a plea for the separation to end and a promise to remain steadfast, "Colors" is at least as much a ballad of heartfelt yearning as it is a stomp-and-swagger jam. It depicts seaborne loyalty that recalls Penelope's long and faithful wait for Odysseus; Smith's spunk convinces listeners that, also like Penelope, she's not helpless, but rather the rock of the relationship. "Like a lighthouse guides a shipwrecked sailor safely from the sea," she sings, "I'll wear your colors till you come back home to me."

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Songs for a Sinking Ship

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