Becca Stevens | SPACE | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Becca Stevens 

When: Tue., April 28, 7:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $12-$22
Singer, songwriter, and stringed-instrument specialist Becca Stevens represents a growing group of musicians allergic to genre limitations but also repelled by glib eclecticism. On her recent third album, Perfect Animal (Universal Music Classics), she blends a clever range of styles into a fine hybrid without ever sounding like she’s showing off. With a repertoire that happens to include songs by Frank Ocean (“Thinkin Bout You”) and Usher (“You Make Me Wanna”)—and a previous album that features tunes by the Smiths and Animal Collective—Stevens comes across as a jazz singer playing folk rock. Bassist Chris Tordini and keyboardist Liam Robinson provide vocal harmonies as the threesome slalom through intricate arrangements that convey a bit of the Punch Brothers’ progressive spirit. Stevens has meticulous control of her voice, shading every phrase with precision and masterful control of timbre, and though I sometimes find the music a bit fussy in its complexity, she’s clearly found a way to put her own distinctive spin on the folk-jazz ideas of Joni Mitchell without sounding anything like her. —Peter Margasak

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