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April Smith: Sunny Energy, Stage-Friendly Sauciness

April Smith was born to be an entertainer. A native of the New Jersey shore --though her old-timey sensibility wouldn't fit in too well on an MTV reality show — she radiates sunny energy and stage-ready sauciness. Her powerful, lustrous voice is the rare kind that stands out among a thousand pop stars. Just ask her fans: When Smith put out a request for funds, they readily coughed up $13,000 to cover the production of her album, Songs for a Sinking Ship.

"Colors" is the buoy that floats to the top of the record: It's an up-tempo jaunt that illustrates one side of a long-distance relationship, not lamenting the isolation but instead looking fixedly to the future. Both a plea for the separation to end and a promise to remain steadfast, "Colors" is at least as much a ballad of heartfelt yearning as it is a stomp-and-swagger jam. It depicts seaborne loyalty that recalls Penelope's long and faithful wait for Odysseus; Smith's spunk convinces listeners that, also like Penelope, she's not helpless, but rather the rock of the relationship. "Like a lighthouse guides a shipwrecked sailor safely from the sea," she sings, "I'll wear your colors till you come back home to me."

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Afton Lorraine Woodward
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