Music: Amen

Paula Cole

This is an album as quietly reverent as its title. Lilith Fair veteran Paula Cole tries hard to be a soul sister--according to the liner notes, one song, Suwannee Jo, was "inspired by Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God"; another track features a guest appearance by singer Tionne ("T-Boz") Watkins of the R.-and-B./hip-hop trio TLC. Cole even raps on one track. The main problem, though, is that the music is all too polite. Cole's last CD, This Fire, had moments of wild art-rock invention; here, she is content to relax in the groove. Her lyrics, though, can be admirably...

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