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  • Jonathan Widran

JOANIE PALLATTO, Accidental Melody featuring Fareed Haque

In the streaming happy music industry, CD inserts are slowly becoming a relic of the past – but for fans of those artists who taken the time and expense to create them, the rewards are plenty. One of the unique curiosities of the credits we find in Joanie Pallatto’s unabashedly romantic post pandemic life affirming 13th album Accidental Melody is that the veteran Chicago based singer/songwriter makes a special dedication to special people, places and concepts dear to her heart for each of the 13 magnificent, lyrically thoughtful and inspiring and often rhythmically exotic tunes.

She introduces us to several of them throughout an eclectic set that offers (for those who may have missed her Chicago and NYC shows over the past four decades) an engaging showcase for the singer’s sultry, inviting vocals. Among the most prominent of these are the whimsical tango-fired “A Shooting Star,” dedicated to her producer and multi-guitarist Fareed Haque, a popular artist in his own right and longtime collaborator who produced the collection and added his lilting classical and edgy electric guitar (and keen percussive flair) to the mix.

Though not specifically named, Joanie is clearly referring to her husband Bradley Parker-Sparrow (with whom she co-owns the thriving indie label Sparrow on Southport Records) when she says the gorgeous, heartfelt ballad “The Melody of You” (featuring its co-writer Bradley on piano) is “for everlasting love.” We may not know George Freeman, but the spritely song Joanie dedicates to him, “The Lost Year” is a charming post-COVID gathering song we can all relate to.

Likewise, the bubbly, salsified title track “Accidental Melody,” a fun-filled gift to “Mom and her Towel Dance!” Though a bit removed from the romance and future optimism themes, “The Cuckoo Clock” – a witty, plucky duet with Haque – is the emotional core of the collection, using the item as a metaphorical means to reminisce about her childhood and how far she’s come since. Naturally it’s dedicated to “the memory of my hometown, Xenia, Ohio.”


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