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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Ruut - Glimpse - CD Cover
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\r\nimage © Earth To Me Music 2013

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image © Earth To Me Music 2013

(07 September 2013) Ruut is one of four daughters to classical musician parents. She was born in Finland and wrote her first song when she learned to play the piano when she was only seven. The artist grew up living and traveling in Europe, until moving to the USA at the age of sixteen.

In her early 20s, Ruut left her hometown of Baltimore for Los Angeles in effort to find her sound. She worked with many writers and producers there, as well as in Nashville and New York, releasing recordings both independently and under labels.

Ruut's 2007 six-track self-titled EP remains available today. She had honed songwriting skills co-write the project with host of hit songwriters including Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks), The Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Josh Kelley) and Guy Erez (Gipsy Kings, Ryan Cabrera) and recorded an impressive catalogue of songs with producers such as John Schreiner (Sam Phillips, Cher), Heather Holley and Rob Hoffman (Christina Aguillera, Paul Westerberg, T-Bone Burnett) and Saul Zonana (Ben Swift, Spin Doctors). As soulful as Alicia Keys, as lyrical as Sarah McLaughlin and as timeless as Carole King, the EP set the artist on a path for for major recognition.

Ruut's follow-up, entitled The Steinway Sessions released in in 2010 at CDBaby, was produced by Ruut and co-produced by Frank Wolf. More stripped back than her 2007 EP, the project is a solo piano/vocal album featuring Ruut playing a Steinway "D" Concert Grand piano. Described to be a monumental album in the singer/songwriter genre, the songs reveal the artist's soulful, unique style and her instinctive playing shines through on this giant grand piano.

Ruut settled back in Baltimore, and after the birth of her second daughter and returned to the studio to create her first full-length album in three years entitled, Glimpse (Earth To Me Music, 6 13285 84192, 2013). The album is a collection of ten richly produced singer/songwriter tracks that has been released both digitally and in physical media. Here Ruut has entrusted her listeners with her most honest writing to date. The album's release follows a highly successful NoiseTrade campaign. Readers may still find the download available online.

Ruut says of her new album, "Experiencing motherhood has made me realize how quickly life is passing, and that I need to live in every moment. I'm not too worried about the outcome anymore. I just want to write and sing about what has meaning to me--being human, finding and holding onto love, and the journey that brings us face to face with our most authentic selves. If a song doesn’t resonate with me, I won't sing it. Life is too short to compromise. That’s what these songs are all about---awakening and remembering that life passes in a glimpse. I hope my words and my voice can play a part in that invaluable discovery."

In contrast to The Steinway Sessions Ruut's new album is a richer sounding singer/songwriter project produced by Ruut and Scott Smith and include instrumental and vocal contributions by a several guest artists to round out the overall sound. The ten tracks offer a running time of just under 40 minutes and work very well together. The album opens with the stunning title track, a gently rocking tune. Listen for the vocal layers and the lush production. "Make It Good," with arrangements that will harken some listeners to a country style, is even denser vocally, especially in the chorus.

The acoustic percussion-laden "Hourglass," brings Ruut's crystalline vocals to the front atop the lightest electric guitar backing. The stark arrangement builds everso slightly as the song reaches its climax and provides an excellent backdrop to hear Ruut's vocal work. Similarly, the piano and light strings in the "Church Bells" countrified ballad permit Ruut's singing and songwriting carry the song. The slide guitar work rounds out the sound further in the tenderly delivered "Heartbreak."

Listeners will be blown away with Ruut's crystalline vocal work in the gentle piano ballad "No One Will Ever Love You." Listen for the light percussion deep in the background. Ruut's sound is further developed in "Enough" where her dynamic vocal work is backed by piano, acoustic percussion and additional guitar parts. Backing vocal work provides just a little additional texture and only where needed for emphasis.

The arrangements for "Hold My Hand" feature Ruut on the wurly before further guitar and bass arrangements are added. Ruut's vocals have been mixed way up which works especially well here. The gentle ballad "Unbeatable" will draw listeners in with the solo piano accompaniment and layered vocal parts. The album concludes with "Last One" sung by Ruut and in harmony with producer Scott Smith atop acoustic and light electric guitar arrangements. Listen carefully for Ruut's accordion in this final track.

Perhaps known only regionally before, Ruut's new ten-track collection is certain to appeal to singer/songwriter and country music enthusiasts. Glimpse is a wonderful album that with its full domestic release is certain to please and expand Ruut's audience.

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