Jill Barber For All Time

On her full-length debut, the sleepy-eyed Halifax-based folk singer with the sensual smile, returns with a savory collection of sweet love songs — exploring this four-letter word in all its splendor and frustration. The songs echo another time and another place: part cabaret, part folk, part jazz and a dab ’o country. Following 2004’s critically-acclaimed EP Oh Heart, the heartbreaking songwriter (who normally sings by her lonesome) is joined by a who’s who of the Toronto roots scene, including Blue Rodeo’s Bazil Donovan and Jim Cuddy, along with Bob Packwood and Luke Doucet. Barber’s brother Matt, who is carving out his own niche as a fine songsmith in his own right, also joins his sis, adding vocals to two cuts ("Hard Line” and "Two Brown Eyes). "Don’t Go Easy” features Cuddy’s honeyed vocals in this rich duet that also showcases the pedal steel of Stew Crookes. "Two Brown Eyes” is a Barber staple of her live shows and has appeared on previous records, but having her sibling sing on this one gives this tender track even more sugar and substance; she also reduces the tempo a bit, so it feels like a slow waltz. Another highlight is "Ashes to Ashes,” a heartfelt homage to her grandmother, where Barber poetically contemplates life after death. From the simple pleasure of "When I’m Making Love to You” to the breakup title cut, these 11 tracks show Barber continuing to mature. (Dependent)