Jane Mays, a folk singer/songwriter and coffee shop regular, has released "Hungry," a full-length album of elegant, piano-based songs highlighting her sweet, slightly fragile voice.
With an appealing mellow, mid-range delivery throughout "Hungry," the Oklahoma City performer sounds at ease while singing "Battlefield of Blues" and the album's title track.
The inspirational "Fly Home" is serene, with lush phrasing and dancing piano lines. Also easily enjoyable is "Can't Feel a Thing," a witty, perky song that's a little lighter musical fare.
Many of the tracks, notably songs like "Grace" and the album closer, "All We Need is Love," have chord progressions that sound inspired by a church music program or a modern gospel setting.
"Dreams" is the most daring tune on "Hungry." The song strikes a darker tone than any of the album's other songs and is more revealing lyrically and adventurous musically.
Mays sounds poised to take one of two paths with her songwriting " either through commercial tweak along the lines of Sara Bareilles or Vanessa Carlton, or a darker twist to the Sarah McLachlan or Tori Amos take on piano pop. She clearly has the voice for either.
To listen to Mays perform songs from "Hungry," check out her 8 p.m. Saturday show at The Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd. "Joe Wertz